The palm oil revolution in Asia
- Palm oil has doubled its share of world vegetable oil consumption in the past twenty-five years to become the world's leading source of vegetable oil. Even though the environmental crises associated with oil palm are directly related to its cultivation (tropical forest loss, carbon emissions from drained peat swamps, biodiversity loss), studying supply interventions is insufficient. From a conservation perspective, the demand side of vegetable oils markets matters equally, if not more, since demand patterns affect the incentives facing producers. The dissertation begins by examining demand systems in Indonesia, today the world's largest palm oil producing country and the country with the highest palm oil consumption per capita. In Indonesia, higher palm oil consumption is the result not just of population and income growth but also of government policies that promoted an extraordinary substitution away from an alternative cooking oil. Comparing Indonesia to the other top two palm oil consuming countries in the world, India and China, reveals that Indonesia's experience is not representative of Asia. Different political and economic factors, from livestock production to trade policy, have produced different vegetable oil consumption patterns in each of these three markets. Finally, the dissertation examines the effect that biodiesel has had on vegetable oil demand and describes how a petroleum-price shock might play out in vegetable oils markets. Overall, the dissertation predicts a doubling of palm oil demand over the next twenty-five years and emphasizes how, given the highly substitutable nature of vegetable oils markets, small changes in relative prices can have exaggerated effects on palm oil demand. The elastic, or price sensitive, demand structure that producers face suggests that policies to increase yields are likely to cause more land conversion for oil palm.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Gaskell, Joanne Catherine
|Stanford University, Department of Environment and Resources.
|Falcon, Walter P, 1936-
|Falcon, Walter P, 1936-
|Statement of responsibility
|Joanne Catherine Gaskell.
|Submitted to the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.
|Ph.D. Stanford University 2012
- © 2012 by Joanne Catherine Gaskell
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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