Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 3 (2) September 2003 p. 1-14

Evolution of the Latin American Oil Palm Sector During the Last Decade (1991 – 2001)

Eden C Bolivar and Marisol Cuellar - Mejia
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


In the last decade, the oil palm planted area in Latin America has grown consistently, spurring the development of this sector during this period and making oil palm into one of the principal crops cultivated in this region. This dynamic performance can be attributed to the technical characteristics of palm oil, allowing its wide utilization in diverse industrial processes and its market to grow robustly. This document presents an overview of the development of the oil palm agro-industry in the world and subsequently analyses its behaviour in Latin America. It also looks at the economic and social situation of the major oil palm producing countries in the Latin American region. Likewise, the importance of palm oil within the total production and the consumption of oils and fats as well as the evolution of exports and imports of oils and fats in these countries are analysed. This is followed by a brief analysis of the potential market for palm oil in the whole American continent. Finally, Colombia’s vision for its oil palm sector up to the year 2020 is discussed.

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