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Crude palm oil (CPO), used extensively as a biodiesel feedstock in South East Asia, has seen its popularity go through the roof over the last few years as Europe's mandatory biodiesel targets have seen global demand boom. Despite the environmental concerns over large scale rainforest destruction to make way for ever more oil palm plantations, the price of CPO has been low enough that economic demand has not waned. The laws of supply and demand have started to kick in though and suddenly palm oil

The price of palm oil, which has gained favour over the last few years as a cheap biodiesel feedstock, is soaring. Another relatively new use of palm oil is as a trans-fat substitute for use in processed food. But the oil palm, grown mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia, is not well liked - it has been blamed for rainforest destruction, the death of orang-utans, air pollution and exploitation of workers.

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