Prices of oils and fats have been fluctuating in the past, with ups and downs in the global market. Figure 1 shows that they had been accelerating upward since 2006 up until June 2008 after which they plummeted towards end of the year. The uptrend movements were closely affected by the petroleum price which had surged from USD 57.39 per barrel in January 2006 to USD 133.52 in July 2008 (Figure 2). The increase in the petroleum price had caused many countries to start using alternative fuels which may come from various feedstocks, such as rapeseed oil, soyabean oil or palm oil. This had created additional demands for these feedstocks which in turn raised their prices to an even higher level. However, from July 2008, price of crude oil recorded a downward trend to reach USD 39.71 per barrel in December 2008. In tandem with this, prices of vegetable oils and fats had also followed suit. Beside the petroleum factor, which consequently led to the usage of biodiesel, there may be other factors which have influenced palm oil price and they will be highlighted later in the article. This article will also take the opportunity to project the prospect of palm oil price in 2009.
Keywords: MPOB PUBLICATIONS, MARKET DEVELOPMENT, PALM OIL & OIL PALM INDUSTRY-Malaysia, PALM OIL, STATISTICS, FORECAST