Palm methyl ester, produced from palm oil, is majorly used as biodiesel and biofuels. Palm oil is converted into palm methyl ester through a process known as transesterification, wherein methanol is used as a catalyst. It falls under the category of renewable diesel fuel known as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME). Apart from being used as fuel, it can also be used as solvents, hydraulic fluids, emulsifiers, lubricants, and others.
The global palm methyl ester market is expected to witness significant growth at a CAGR of 6% over the forecast period. Increasing environmental concerns due to non-renewable fuel consumption is expected to increase demand for renewable fuel, which in turn will drive growth of palm methyl ester market. The advantages of using palm methyl ester as diesel fuel are its portability, availability, renewability, and biodegradability. Moreover, environmental agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency is taking initiatives to encourage consumption of renewable fuels over diesel, which is expected to drive growth of the market over the forecast period.
Depleting source of fossil fuels and increasing demand for palm methyl ester from various end-use industries such as food and agriculture, automotive, and oil & gas industries are other major factors that are expected to fuel growth of the palm methyl ester market.
On the basis of region, the global palm methyl ester market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific held dominant position in the palm methyl ester market, followed by Europe and Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to witness high growth in the near future, owing to introduction of biodiesel policy in India and various initiatives taken by regional government to promote use of biodiesel as a fuel in passenger vehicles over diesel.
Increasing product base in food applications is expected to significantly drive growth of the Middle East & Africa palm methyl ester market over the forecast period. Moreover, in Europe, as palm methyl ester meets the European standards for biodiesel, it is widely accepted as biodiesel in the region. Also, it has been successfully evaluated as a diesel alternate in summer and with an additive in winter due to its poor cold-flow properties.
Some of the major players operating in the global palm methyl ester include Klk Oleo Sdn. Bhd., Ibmalaysia, New Britain Palm Oil Limited, Golden Agri-Resources, and United Plantations Berhad.