Palm Oil Imports by Country 2020

Palm oil collage (Pixabay)

International purchases of imported palm oil cost an estimated total US$33.8 billion in 2020.

Overall, the value of palm oil imports increased by 19% for all importing countries since 2016 when international purchases of palm oil cost $28.4 billion. From 2019 to 2020, globally imported palm oil appreciated 12%.

An edible vegetable oil, palm oil is derived from the reddish pulp of oil palm plant fruit. Palm oil is a highly saturated vegetable fat used for lower-cost cooking, blending into mayonnaise and as a butter substitute. Palm oil is also an ingredient for biodiesel fuels.

The 5 biggest importers of palm oil (India, China, Pakistan, Netherlands, Spain) bought 43.2% of total palm oil purchased via international markets in 2020.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries imported the highest dollar worth of palm oil during 2020 with purchases valued at $17.7 billion or over half (52.3%) of the global total. In second place were European importers at 24.8% while a fast-growing 15.7% of palm oil imported worldwide was delivered to Africa.

Smaller percentages went to customers in North America (4.3%), Latin America (2.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 1515 for palm oil and its refractions, whether or not refined.

Top 15

Below are the 15 countries that spent the most on imported palm oil during 2020.

  1. India: US$5.1 billion (15.1% of total imported palm oil)
  2. China: $4.1 billion (12.2%)
  3. Pakistan: $2.1 billion (6.2%)
  4. Netherlands: $1.9 billion (5.5%)
  5. Spain: $1.4 billion (4.1%)
  6. Italy: $1.2 billion (3.7%)
  7. United States: $1.1 billion (3.2%)
  8. Bangladesh: $896.9 million (2.7%)
  9. Kenya: $829.6 million (2.5%)
  10. Russia: $793.2 million (2.3%)
  11. Egypt: $732.5 million (2.2%)
  12. Vietnam: $694.7 million (2.1%)
  13. Malaysia: $657.1 million (1.9%)
  14. Myanmar: $645.3 million (1.9%)
  15. Germany: $599.1 million (1.8%)

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for palm oil since 2019 were: Myanmar (up 660.4%), Kenya (up 59.2%), Vietnam (up 30.8%) and Italy (up 20.2%).

Only one top country posted a decline in its imported palm oil purchases namely India thanks to its -5.4% drop.

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 67.4% of all palm oil imported in 2020.

India

Palm Oil Imported into India

India’s global purchases of imported palm oil totaled US$5.1 billion in 2020. Below are the top suppliers from which India imported the highest dollar value worth of palm oil during 2020. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Indonesia: US$3.2 billion (up 22.6% from 2019)
  2. Malaysia: $1.5 billion (down -31.5%)
  3. Singapore: $203.5 million (down -16.1%)
  4. Thailand: $112.1 million (up 26.2%)
  5. Nepal: $47.3 million (down -76%)
  6. Papua New Guinea: $4.3 million (down -24.8%)
  7. Ukraine: $3.1 million (down 0%)
  8. Cambodia: $2.7 million (up 319.4%)
  9. Bangladesh: $1 million (down -95.2%)
  10. South Korea: $16,000 (no 2019 data)
  11. Nigeria: $13,000 (up 1,200%)
  12. Netherlands: $6,000 (down -62.5%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 100% of palm oil imported by India in 2020.

Among the above countries, the four suppliers posting gains in palm oil sold to India since 2019 were: Nigeria (up 1,200%), Cambodia (up 319.4%), Thailand (up 26.2%) and Indonesia (up 22.6%).

Overall, the value of India’s imported palm oil rose by an average 5.4% from all supplying countries since 2019 when palm oil purchased cost $5.4 billion.

China

Palm Oil Imported into China

China’s global purchases of imported palm oil totaled US$4.12 billion in 2020. Below are the top suppliers from which China imported the highest dollar value worth of palm oil during 2020. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Indonesia: US$2.4 billion (down -15.7% from 2019)
  2. Malaysia: $1.7 billion (up 36.7%)
  3. Papua New Guinea: $6.9 million (up 26.7%)
  4. Thailand: $2.1 million (down -19.7%)
  5. Philippines: $1.1 million (no 2019 data)
  6. Taiwan: $497,000 (up 310.7%)
  7. Netherlands: $472,000 (up 134.8%)
  8. Japan: $13,000 (no 2019 data)
  9. Ghana: $8,000 (up 300%)
  10. Ecuador: $7,000 (down -92.3%)
  11. Brazil: $2,000 (no 2019 data)
  12. Germany: $2,000 (no 2019 data)
  13. United Kingdom: $1,000 (no 2019 data)

The listed countries shipped 100% of palm oil imported by China in 2020.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of palm oil to China since 2019 were: Taiwan (up 310.7%), Ghana (up 300%), Netherlands (up 134.8%) and Malaysia (up 36.7%).

The value of China’s overall imported palm oil flatlined, up by an average 0.4% from all supplying countries since 2019 when palm oil purchased cost $4.1 billion.

Pakistan

Palm Oil Imported into Pakistan

Pakistan’s global purchases of imported palm oil totaled US$2.1 billion in 2020. Below are the top 15 suppliers from which Pakistan imported the highest dollar value worth of palm oil during 2020. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Indonesia: US$1.6 billion (up 15% from 2019)
  2. Malaysia: $482.2 million (up 41.6%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $739,000 (no 2019 data)

The listed 15 countries shipped 100% of palm oil imported by Pakistan in 2020.

Overall, the value of Pakistan’s imported palm oil accelerated by an average 20.2% from all supplying countries since 2019 when palm oil purchased cost $1.8 billion.

Netherlands

Palm Oil Imported into the Netherlands

Dutch global purchases of imported palm oil totaled US$1.86 billion in 2020. Below are the top 15 suppliers from which the Netherlands imported the highest dollar value worth of palm oil during 2020. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Indonesia: $470.2 million (up 13.2%)
  2. Papua New Guinea: $277.9 million (up 5.2%)
  3. Honduras: $173.1 million (up 16.3%)
  4. Colombia: $126.8 million (down -16%)
  5. Guatemala: $89 million (down -16.6%)
  6. Germany: $47.7 million (up 206.7%)
  7. Costa Rica: $20.1 million (up 43%)
  8. Belgium: $15 million (down -83.8%)
  9. Solomon Islands: $13 million (up 222.6%)
  10. Nicaragua: $12.5 million (up 2,218%)
  11. France: $9.7 million (up 341.5%)
  12. Denmark: $8.5 million (down -62.2%)
  13. Ecuador: $6.7 million (down -19.4%)
  14. United Kingdom: $6.4 million (down -38.7%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 98.5% of palm oil imported by the Netherlands in 2020.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of palm oil to the Netherlands since 2019 were: Nicaragua (up 2,218%), France (up 341.5%), Solomon Islands (up 222.6%) and Germany (up 206.7%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their palm oil supplied to Dutch importers included: Belgium (down -83.8%), Denmark (down -62.2%), United Kingdom (down -38.7%) and Ecuador (down -19.4%).

Overall, the value of palm oil imported into the Netherlands expanded by an average 11.2% from all supplying countries since 2019 when palm oil purchased cost $1.67 billion.

 

The 100 biggest importers of palm oil bought 99.1% of the total value for the world’s purchases of palm oil imports during 2020. Those key importers are itemized in the following automated database.

Rank Importer Palm Oil Imports (US$) 2019-20
1. India $5,119,263,000 -5.4%
2. China $4,123,222,000 +0.4%
3. Pakistan $2,109,310,000 +20.2%
4. Netherlands $1,858,860,000 +11.2%
5. Spain $1,396,578,000 +19.5%
6. Italy $1,246,687,000 +20.2%
7. United States $1,091,722,000 +7.6%
8. Bangladesh $896,873,000 +17.3%
9. Kenya $829,605,000 +59.2%
10. Russia $793,220,000 +18.7%
11. Egypt $732,477,000 +11.7%
12. Vietnam $694,738,000 +30.8%
13. Malaysia $657,124,000 +19.6%
14. Myanmar $645,251,000 +660.4%
15. Germany $599,136,000 +14.9%
16. Japan $547,093,000 +9.8%
17. Turkey $527,266,000 +26.7%
18. Belgium $470,748,000 +30.5%
19. Ethiopia $424,143,000 +59.7%
20. South Korea $404,405,000 +16%
21. South Africa $325,367,000 +20.3%
22. United Kingdom $322,322,000 +6.9%
23. France $320,495,000 +15.2%
24. Saudi Arabia $309,125,000 -8.4%
25. Tanzania $300,558,000 -2.4%
26. Mexico $272,322,000 -6.9%
27. Uganda $271,545,000 +40.7%
28. Nigeria $265,311,000 +60.5%
29. Iran $232,602,000 -16.6%
30. Djibouti $231,787,000 +93.8%
31. Poland $226,124,000 -2%
32. United Arab Emirates $225,172,000 +5.9%
33. Togo $204,792,000 +244%
34. Ghana $192,273,000 +40.8%
35. Ukraine $174,386,000 +20.5%
36. Senegal $172,198,000 +48.5%
37. Brazil $165,355,000 +102.2%
38. Mozambique $163,789,000 +5.8%
39. Sweden $161,446,000 +15%
40. Colombia $160,108,000 +10.2%
41. Denmark $157,677,000 +0.2%
42. Taiwan $156,613,000 +19.6%
43. Angola $155,813,000 -28.3%
44. Oman $142,854,000 +33.5%
45. Estonia $142,760,000 +60.1%
46. Singapore $132,020,000 -23.7%
47. Ireland $127,966,000 +29%
48. Haiti $126,867,000 +40.2%
49. Yemen $122,208,000 +10%
50. Afghanistan $114,709,000 +4023%
51. Niger $103,221,000 -14.8%
52. Canada $100,149,000 +6.9%
53. Madagascar $95,972,000 +37.4%
54. Sri Lanka $89,307,000 -3.5%
55. El Salvador $88,600,000 +28%
56. Ivory Coast $87,032,000 +111.5%
57. Somalia $82,720,000 -12.7%
58. Iraq $76,321,000 +151.3%
59. Benin $69,748,000 -42.7%
60. Sudan $68,880,000 -20.3%
61. Greece $63,156,000 -9.7%
62. Algeria $63,058,000 -0.2%
63. Australia $60,141,000 -9.7%
64. Malawi $60,097,000 +49.8%
65. Congo $58,901,000 +32.7%
66. Azerbaijan $54,998,000 +34.6%
67. Philippines $54,904,000 +74.6%
68. Zambia $53,834,000 -6.5%
69. Nicaragua $52,084,000 +29%
70. Costa Rica $50,147,000 +17.4%
71. Guinea $48,515,000 -6.6%
72. Romania $46,670,000 -11.4%
73. Portugal $41,875,000 +8.6%
74. Tunisia $40,175,000 +3.7%
75. Dominican Republic $39,778,000 +63.5%
76. Kazakhstan $39,006,000 +26.9%
77. Hungary $34,429,000 +21.5%
78. Bulgaria $32,669,000 -7%
79. Austria $30,332,000 -1%
80. Cameroon $29,513,000 +99.2%
81. Morocco $28,616,000 +3.7%
82. Panama $27,065,000 +137.6%
83. New Zealand $26,325,000 +34.9%
84. Serbia $24,912,000 +13.7%
85. Chile $24,182,000 +15.7%
86. Liberia $24,173,000 +7.5%
87. Jordan $24,031,000 -5.8%
88. Burkina Faso $23,931,000 +9.3%
89. Uruguay $23,534,000 +16.4%
90. South Sudan $22,447,000 +1095%
91. Guatemala $22,371,000 +42.5%
92. Switzerland $21,965,000 -0.3%
93. Lebanon $20,509,000 +27%
94. Israel $19,877,000 -27.4%
95. Peru $19,015,000 +192.9%
96. Zimbabwe $18,994,000 +154.1%
97. Croatia $17,647,000 -5.2%
98. Uzbekistan $17,564,000 +11.7%
99. Qatar $17,556,000 +5.5%
100. Venezuela $17,047,000 -36%

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns above. An entry of 0% in the right-most column means that no 2019 data was available.

See also Palm Oil Exports by Country, Sugar Imports by Country and Imported Pickles by Country

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Imports – Commodities. Accessed on July 19, 2021

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 19, 2021

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 19, 2021

Wikipedia, Palm oil. Accessed on July 19, 2021

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