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Kenaf Seed Oil Market: Overview

Kenaf plant is also known as hibiscus cannabis, is a plant from the Hibiscus family and is native to South Asia. It is also known by the name of Deccan hemp or java jute. The kenaf seeds obtained from the plant contains about 18-22% of edible vegetable oil which is high in omega polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hence, kenaf seed oil is used in fortified food for its high nutrient content. Kenaf plant is cultivated in countries such as India, Bangladesh, U.S., Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, Viet Nam and Thailand and to some extent in Europe. Malaysia is one of the key producers of the kenaf seed oil and efforts are being made to enhance and commercialize the production in this region. For Nigeria, boosting kenaf and kenaf seed oil production is a win-win deal as it contributes to the growth of the Nigerian economy and also creates employment. Many organizations have also been focusing on the development of the value chains of various countries for the kenaf seed oil based on the existing condition of infrastructure and industrialized state of the kenaf seed oil market. Right at the period when fortified food, natural and herbal ingredient markets are witnessing growth, the product potential of the kenaf seed oil seems unlimited. In Africa, the kenaf seed oil lacks the product quality which can be exported and exploited at the international level and currently only satiates the rural use.

Kenaf hybrid seeds are gained popularity in countries like China, Russia and Thailand. In 2015, a product Kenaf Bio-oil obtained from kenaf seed oil received a patent as a novel specialty oil with phytosterol and antioxidant properties. In Malaysia, the kenaf seed oil is gaining popularity because kenaf crop is fast becoming an industrial crop alongside palm oil and rubber. On a macro level, the Malaysian government is constantly promoting it as a replacement crop for the local tobacco farmers, and hence kenaf seed oil production in this region is also expected to witness growth. The major factors which are opening up larger market opportunities for the kenaf industry, including the kenaf seed oil market, is the automotive industry. The overall growth in the kenaf industry is expected to fuel the growth of other value added products obtained from kenaf such as the kenaf seed oil. The benefits and applications of kenaf seed oil are being increasingly supported by white papers and research articles such as its use in the encapsulation technology in the food & beverage industry. The kenaf seed oil is actually a waste product obtained after the processing of its highly valued counterpart kenaf fibers.

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As the production of kenaf seed oil is not commercialized yet, manufacturers in the kenaf seed oil market mostly include very small companies. The kenaf seed oil market is still in the growth phase and in terms of consumer awareness, the kenaf seed oil fairs poorly. Despite rigorous government efforts, the kenaf seed oil market is scaling up slowly. To name of few companies operating in the kenaf seed oil market, these are- Kenaf Green Industries, Kenaf Development Association of Nigeria and WellnessWillpower. Currently, the price of the kenaf seeds is around US 3000 to US 6000 per MT.

The automotive industries and the kenaf related stakeholders could be the focal point to come together and enhance kenaf utilization in the backdrop of the global automotive market because currently, kenaf seed oil is being used majorly as a lubricant. There is a need for extensive marketing and promotion of the benefits of the kenaf seed oil as a food additive and in the personal care industry, to boost the market growth of the kenaf seed oil.

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A modelling-based approach and triangulation methodology will be followed to estimate data covered in this report. A detailed market understanding and assessment of the applications, types, forms and end uses of the product segments covered in the study is followed by carrying out a demand-side approach to estimate the sales of target product segments, which is then cross-referenced with a supply-side assessment of value generated over a pre-defined period. The statistics and data is collected at a regional level, consolidated and synthesized at a global level to estimate the overall market sizes.