The kenaf seed oil market is expected to grow in 2019-2027, with global sales poised to surpass 27,000 tonnes in 2019, thanks to increasing demand for the product in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and biofuels.

A study by Fact.MR, published in March, found that end users were becoming increasingly aware of the growing demand for kenaf fibres and derivatives in an array of industries.

“The short harvest time of three to five months makes kenaf a potential alternative to hemp, jute and flax,” the study said.

Kenaf seed oil production is was also receiving government support in producing countries. Malaysia had renamed its National Tobacco Board to National Kenaf and Tobacco Board, and has had allocated 2000ha to small farmers to cultivate the plant. Additionally, Nigeria announced it would continue to support the plant’s growth.

Fact.MR said these initiatives would continue to play a vital role in conventional kenaf seed oil market growth, with sales projected to surpass 24,500 tonnes in 2019, registering a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of more than 5.5% through 2018.

The report said the biodiesel segment was projected to register y-o-y growth of over 7% in 2019 due to companies adopting biodiesel under government regulations and to achieve sustainability.

In addition, some studies had suggested that kenaf seed oil could be leveraged to manage conditions such as high cholesterol, leading to rising demand for the oil in the functional food market.

India is expected to hold the market share during the study’s forecast period of 2019-2027, which was valued at US$165M in 2018, according to the Swiss Times.