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17 May 2022

Econ Digest

Tight global supply pushes up edible vegetable oil prices...Average retail price of bottled palm oil is expected to be TH65-68 per bottle in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 35-41%


        In 2022, global edible vegetable oil prices will continue to rise, due to the tight supply caused by the tension between Russia and Ukraine, the fact that the world’s largest producer Indonesia has stopped exporting palm oil, the limited variety of alternative products in the edible vegetable oil market, and high demand in the global edible vegetable oil market, especially from major edible vegetable oil importers such as India and China. In addition to the above factors putting upward pressure on the prices of edible vegetable oils in the global and Thai markets, there are also domestic factors such as the still high demand for major edible vegetable oils in Thailand, the upcoming end of the oil palm harvest season in Thailand, the remaining domestic stock of crude palm oil below safety stocks, and rising production costs, which will weigh on Thai vegetable oil prices.
        KResearch expects that the prices of major edible vegetable oils such as palm oil will continue to rise in the rest of 2022. Compared to the first four months of 2022, the average retail price of palm oil (bottled products) in 2022 will rise to THB65-68 from THB48.12 per bottle (1 liter capacity) in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 35-41%. The above forecast assumes that Indonesia may resume exporting palm oil this year, Malaysia’s oil palm production will gradually increase from the third quarter, and Russia will export soybean oil and sunflower oil in the second half of the harvest season. Meanwhile, although the prices of domestic edible vegetable oil remain high, the government has required operators to maintain the retail price of bottled edible vegetable oil and may place it in the list of controlled commodities of the Domestic Trade Department, so the retail prices of edible vegetable oil will not increase further in line with the actual cost.
        The groups directly affected by the increase in the prices of edible vegetable oil are consumers, restaurants, and food companies that use a high percentage of edible vegetable oils for products such as snacks, instant noodles, ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, non-dairy creamers and some dietary supplement products, causing the prices of the above products to increase with the production costs. Factors that must be watched for the remainder of 2022 include the potential for continued increases in global energy, grain and edible vegetable oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the timing of Indonesia’s resumption of palm oil exports, Malaysia’s accelerated ramp-up of palm oil production capacity following the easing of entry restrictions, remaining domestic stocks of crude palm oil, and government measures to help address supply issues in the market.

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