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Indonesia palm oil consumption, El Nino worries, weigh on market

World's top producer expected to export less due to domestic biodiesel mandate

Palm oil, derived from the fruit seen here, is widely used as a vegetable oil and is an ingredient in processed foods and many other products, including cosmetics.    © Antara Foto/Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- The global palm oil outlook is expected to be weak during at least the first half of this year owing to structural issues as well as top producer Indonesia increasing domestic use of the vegetable oil for biodiesel, industry figures said on Wednesday, with potential climate impacts adding to uncertainty.

"Palm oil has lost its growth momentum. Area expansion has slowed down considerably," Thomas Mielke, executive director of Oil World and a leading expert in the commodity, told the annual Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference and Exhibition organized by stock exchange Bursa Malaysia.

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