The demand for palm oil in India grew steadily between the years 2004 to 2014. Palm oil is used in the production of processed foods and for cooking oils. It is widely considered a healthy alternative to other cooking oils, since it is low in trans fats. Incidentally, in 2003, the United States and European Union both mandated that food manufacturers list the amount of trans fatty acids in foods. Palm oil was used as substitute for other substances which helped to fuel the demand for the commodity.
As the most populated countries in the world, China and India are driving up demand for the oil. Between 2004 and 2014, India imported 67,775,000 metric tons of the commodity, mostly from Indonesia. By comparison, the United States imports about 1.5 million metric tons per year. The production of palm oil has been met with great controversy because of its negative environmental impact.