Malaysia Agribusiness Report

Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the agribusiness industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, Supply & Demand Forecasts, Commodity Price Analysis and Company Profiles.

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Malaysia Agribusiness Report
Product Price

BMI View: Malaysia's agribusiness sector is experiencing challenging times, as its most emblematic sector, the palm oil industry, is undermined by low prices and growing structural challenges. The cocoa sector is in an even worse position, suffering a severe decline after the stellar performance of the 1990s . The cocoa processing sector is facing increasing competition from Indonesia and is losing market share at a fast pace. The medium term outlook is brighter, amidst strong growth prospects in the poultry sector and opportunities for value added palm based oleochemical exports. Malaysia will have to remain ahead of its biggest competitor, Indonesia, if it s agribusiness sector is to stay afloat. As such, the next challenge for the country resides in the economic integration of ASEAN. The ASEAN Economic Community will present so me opportunities, for example for poultry exports. However, it also poses risks to the future of the sugar refining sector.

Key Forecasts

  • Palm oil production growth to 2019/20: 12.9% to 22.4mn tonnes. Production growth will reaccelerate towards the end of our forecast period, after the slower growth recorded in recent years. The ongoing replanting and yield improvement programmes will bear fruit and support output.

  • Poultry production growth to 2019/20: 18.8% to 1.7mn tonnes. After a decade of strong growth, we forecast poultry meat production to grow at a moderate pace in the coming years, as rising production costs is undermining the development of the sector. Malaysia will maintain a fragile self-sufficiency in poultry.

  • Sugar consumption growth to 2020: 13.7% to 1.9mn tonnes. Consumption growth will be slower than in the previous decade as it already comes from a high base, Malaysians being among the largest consumers of sugar on a per capita basis. Future sugar demand will be driven mainly by rising incomes and population growth.

  • 2016 BMI universe agribusiness market value: USD29.99bn, up 6.7% y-o-y, forecast to grow by 6.2% annually from 2016 to 2020.

  • 2016 real GDP growth: 4.5% (down from 4.7% expected in 2015, forecast to average 4.6% from 2016 to 2020).

  • 2016 consumer price inflation: 2.9% (down from 3.1% expected in 2015, forecast to average 2.4% from 2016 to 2020).

Palm Oil, King Commodity
Malaysia - BMI Agribusiness Market Value By Commodity (% of total)
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: FAO, BMI

Key Developments

After several years of strong production and earnings growth for palm oil producers, Malaysia's palm oil sector is going through challenging times. Although El Nino-related dry weather and the Indonesian 'haze crisis' have sent palm oil prices higher in H215, prices remain below historical averages. Apart from price and profitability issues, structural challenges are growing in the industry. These include growing hurdles to plantation expansion, stagnating tree and milling yields, steady increases in production costs and low availability of labour. In light of the downturn in the sector, palm oil companies are adjusting their strategies towards much-needed efficiency gains. Companies will also look at acquiring small and young plantations, leading to consolidation in the sector, as well moving into the oleochemical segment.

In November 2015, Barry Callebaut decided to cut cocoa processing capacity in Malaysia with immediate effect. This is the latest sign that Malaysia's cocoa sector is slowly losing its shine. We have revised down our cocoa consumption forecasts and expect grinding to remain on the decline as chocolate demand in Asia slows and Malaysia's cocoa processing sector continues to lose market share to Indonesia.

Malaysia's sugar sector is also undergoing changes, as the government is partially liberalising prices and has started easing restrictions on refined sugar imports. In light of limited growth prospects in the local market, refiners are adjusting their strategies and looking towards diversification, both in terms of geography and products. Malaysia's largest sugar refiner, MSM Malaysia, indicated it is planning to expand its upstream activities (sugar plantations) in South East Asia and said it is in 'advanced' negotiations to acquire two Indonesia-based firms operating in this segment.

BMI Industry View
Industry Forecast
Palm Oil Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Palm Oil Production And Consumption Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Risks To Palm Oil Outlook
Table: Palm Oil Production & Consumption (Malaysia 2012-2020)
Sugar Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Sugar Production And Consumption Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Risks To Sugar Outlook
Table: Sugar Production & Consumption (Malaysia 2012-2020)
Cocoa Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Cocoa Production And Consumption Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Risks To Cocoa Outlook
Table: Cocoa Production & Consumption (Malaysia 2012-2020)
Livestock Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Livestock Production And Consumption Outlook
Table: Malaysia - Risks To Livestock Outlook
Table: Beef Production & Consumption (Malaysia 2012-2020)
Table: Pork Production & Consumption (Malaysia 2012-2020)
Table: Poultry Production & Consumption (Malaysia 2012-2020)
Commodity Price Analysis
Global - Global Commodities Strategy
Table: Select Commodities - Performance And BMI Forecasts
Upstream Analysis
Asia Machinery Outlook
Table: Select Countries - Average Size Of Farms, Hectares
Asia GM Outlook
Table: Selected Countries - GM Crops Use (mn hectares)
Asia Fertiliser Outlook
Downstream Analysis
Latest Updates
Structural Trends
Table: Food Sales (Malaysia 2013-2020)
Regional Overview
Table: Impact Of El Ni-o On Crops
Competitive Landscape
Table: Main Agribusiness Players
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Malaysia 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Malaysia 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Malaysia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Malaysia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Malaysia 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

The Malaysia Agribusiness Report features BMI Research's market assessment and independent forecasts for production, consumption and trade across core agricultural commodities.

BMI's Malaysia Agribusiness Report includes independent commodity price forecasting and analysis for key agricultural outputs, an overview of the agribusiness competitive landscape and a discussion of the downstream context of agricultural production in relation to country food consumption forecasts and composite food and beverage trade forecasts.

Key Benefits

  • Use BMI's independent industry forecasts to test other views - a key input for successful planning in dynamic agribusiness markets.
  • Apply BMI's medium-term commodity price analysis to assist with budgetary planning and the identification of investment opportunities and potential risks.
  • Assess the activities and market position of your competitors, partners and clients.


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts and views, highlighting recent changes and key risks to the industry outlook.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the wider agricultural industry.

BMI Supply & Demand Forecasts

Divided into sections based on various diverse sectors in the agriculture market, the chapter provides insight into each market’s agricultural industry, centred on sector forecasts to end-2019 for the consumption, production and trade of key commodities.

  • Consumption Forecasts: Accompanied by a discussion of the main drivers of consumption growth: macroeconomic factors, food processing trends, price movements and increasingly, demand from the non-food sector.
  • Production Forecasts: Examine the trends influencing BMI’s production outlook: global demand, price increases, public and private sector investment and agricultural efficiency improvements.
  • Trade Forecasts: Accompanied by a discussion of the factors influencing a country’s trade in agricultural goods, including domestic demand, global prices and government trade policies.
  • BMI’s Forecasts: Accompanied by a risks-to-outlook assessment, which examines potential factors that could affect our existing forecast picture and the likelihood of their occurrence.

BMI’s Commodity Price Analysis

Fundamental and technical analysis of the short- and medium-term price outlook for eight agricultural commodities based on globally recognised benchmarks.

Downstream Analysis

Analysis of headline food and drink forecasts, including total food consumption, per capita food consumption and total sector trade, which provide important downstream intelligence for primary agricultural producers.

Featured Analysis

Includes relevant articles from BMI’s daily analysis service. These can include: long-term projections on agricultural imports and exports; our perceptions of the impacts of economic slowdown on key companies and subsectors within the Agribusiness industry in a given country; our analysis of fertilizer production; as well as other relevant analysis of recent news and events.

Competitive Landscape

The reports contain information on prominent companies operating in each market.

Key Commodities Covered By The Agribusiness Market

Reports Include: Grains, Dairy, Livestock, Rice, Sugar, Palm Oil, Edible Oils, Coffee, Cocoa, Cotton, Soybean

Please note – not all reports cover all commodities.


The Agribusiness reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.