Sesame Seeds Market Report 2018- A year in review & A year ahead

Indian Sesame Seeds Market Growth, Share & Trends in 2018

Sesame seed is an important food ingredient in many countries which is widely known for its health benefits & culinary applications. The nutty morsel is evenly loaded with nutrients and is also used in traditional medicines. With around 45-50% of oil content, sesame seeds impart good texture, rich flavors, unique crunchiness & a certain smokiness to various cuisines across the globe.

Sesame crop needs marginal farming support and can very well grow under drought conditions, in high heat, with residual moisture in the soil. Currently, the Indian sesame crop is observing a deficient yield & its market is experiencing a very eccentric trend, in effect upon a sizable rise in the prices. The price rise can be chiefly attributed to the increased rate of import duty on the oilseeds & edible oils category. The upsurge in the import duty is in pursuance of the government’s policy to give a boost to the domestic oilseeds consumption. It has apparently triggered the demand for oilseeds in the domestic market & withered the global supply of sesame seeds.

The sesame seeds crop this year is not promising enough to cater to the domestic & global demands. The new crop of Indian sesame seeds is still arriving in the market. For the FY 2017-18, the crop yield is projected at 455 Million Metric Tonnes against the production of 525 Million Metric Tonnes last year. The poor production is in consequence of the detrimental climatic conditions in the sesame producing regions of India. The adverse climate in terms of heavy rainfall & floods in the said areas has apparently retarded the sesame production & limited the estimated yield to a considerable extent. Nevertheless, demand for Indian sesame seeds is seamlessly escalating on the global as well as domestic spheres. With an impending obligation for the forward contracts, the suppliers are left with no options than to proportionate the available stock at a much higher price than expected.

At a time, when the sesame producers are entangled in the demand & supply matrix, the Korean tender for 3900 Tonnes of Sesame Seeds was expected to result in a turnaround. The order is a result of bids invited by South Korea which Indian won recently. It will not necessarily imply further increase in the sesame prices, yet it may also not allow the sesame seeds market to stabilize soon.

The sesame seeds market, however, is expected to uphold the price upsurge around the year-end post the arrival of the estimated crop in the market that will help to combat the caused disparity in the demand & supply.

Sesame seeds crop & market trends in India:

With a total yield of approx. 4,18,164 MT in 2017, the Indian crop of sesame seeds witnessed a downturn of 14.7 % as against the last year. Around 45% of the total sesame produce from India was accorded to exports amidst 110 countries in the year. Europe, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan & USA emanated as the key export destinations for India in terms of the volume of trade. Followed by a notable business realization from the markets of Iran & Russia.

The most preferred sesame variety in the international market was hulled sesame seeds accounting for a trading volume of 1,85,000 MT in 2017. Next in the league was natural whitish sesame with 95,000 MT, crushing grade sesame with 20,000 MT & black sesame seeds with a marginal volume of 7,000 MT respectively.

A Global Perspective:

The mounting global demand for sesame seeds as a health-supporting natural food has lately increased the oilseeds exports. However, market growth for sesame seeds is continually subdued owing to its low yields, oscillating prices and high dependence on climatic conditions. Year 2016-17 witnessed eccentric price drops in the global sesame seeds market. At the onset of the year, the inventory of sesame seeds in China ports declined sharply triggering the prices to an oversold bounce. Meanwhile, the sesame seeds market in Africa demonstrated a colossal rise in the prices following the climate disturbance & paucity of supply. The selling prices were consequently dropped away from the purchasing prices.

According to the Indian Oilseeds and Produce Export Promotion Council of India (IOPEPC), the sesame seeds market was scantly disturbing, wherein Sesame seeds exports from India stood at 1,00,950 tons in 2016-17 as against 1,20,949 tons in 2015-16. Also, value wise exports declined to Rs.827.51 crores from Rs. 1022.15 crores.


  • FY 2016-2017 was a year of scarce supply wherein both the acreage & yield of sesame seeds were subjacent to the previous year’s figures.
  • Prices mounted high due to meager supply, heightened import duty & extended demands emerging from the domestic markets.
  • Tender business likely to come to India this year.
  • Speculators will tend to dominate the international market in view of the projected deficient crop, price & supply chain orientations.
  • Anomalies in the currency & climate of the top sesame producer Sudan will advance international gateway to the Indian markets.
  • China resorted to aggressive buying of Sudan sesame seeds in 2017, may, however, change the market basis the currency & pricing vulnerability.
  • Business from the European Union is envisaged to top the export charts in the next year.
  • U.S.A, Japan & Germany are laying forward a lucrative export market for the organic sesame producers of India.
  • With the ongoing logistic congestion in Nigeria, the global buyers of African sesame are anticipated to head towards the Indian & adjoining continents.
  • India will remain a cynosure of sesame business for the worldwide buyers during 2017-18.

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