The oils and fats were characterized by the volatility of their prices which had moved in large magnitudes on the upswing and downswing within the short period of a year. While following the momentum of the swing, they were affected by several factors, among which were petroleum price and their use in biodiesel production. The recent increase in petroleum price has caused many countries to start using alternatives which may come from various feedstocks, such as rapeseed oil, soyabean oil or palm oil. This has created additional ways of using these feedstocks which in turn has raised their prices to a higher level. When petroleum price dropped towards the end of 2008, the prices of vegetable oils and fats followed suit. Besides the petroleum factor, which consequently led to the use of biodiesel, there may be other factors which influence palm oil price. This article highlights the developments in prices of selected oils and fats, the main factors affecting palm oil price and the prospects of palm oil in 2009. It is forecast that palm oil price will firm up at around RM 2300-RM 2400 in 2009.
Keywords: MPOB PUBLICATIONS, MARKET DEVELOPMENT, PALM OIL & OIL PALM INDUSTRY-Malaysia, PALM OIL, STATISTICS, FORECAST