MYANMAR’S sesame seeds export earned US$292.28 million in the past eight months (October-May) of the current financial year 2020- 2021, according to data released by Myanmar Customs Department.
In early August 2021, black sesame seeds fetched only K110,000 per bag, whereas the price slightly rose to K125,000 per bag in the last week of August. The price of black sesame seeds quite recovered on the back of demand by China in the recent days in the Mandalay market, the traders from the Bayintnaung wholesale market said.
The demand for the newly harvested sesame varieties (brown sesame, yellow sesame and white sesame) is halted for now. The price of black sesame has risen on the high demand, Soe Win Myint pulses depot in Mandalay stated.
“We see a high inflow of black sesame from Shwebo, Wetlet and Monywa areas in the Mandalay market this monsoon season. Moreover, the sesame seed from Magway Region also starts to enter the Mandalay market. The black sesame is high in demand. In addition, Yuan value is also gaining. China uses black sesame in the snack food business, oil production and making herbal medicine. There is one thing that I want to remind the growers of the excess of acid content,” the owner of Soe Win Myint Depot suggested.
Both raw sesame seeds and value-added sesame seeds are conveyed to China. When the COVID-19 cases fall and transportation barriers are eased, the sesame market will raise its head again for sure, he added.
The black sesame seeds fetched about K135,000-160,000 in the last week of June 2021, according to the Mandalay commodity depot.
Normally, Myanmar exports about 80 per cent of sesame production to foreign markets. China is the primary buyer of Myanmar sesame, which was also shipped to markets in Japan, South Korea, China (Taipei), the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, and Poland among the EU countries.
The EU markets prefer organic-farming sesame seeds from Myanmar. Japan prefers Myanmar black sesame seeds, cultivated under good agricultural practice (GAP), and purchases them after a quality assessment. Black sesame seeds from Myanmar were previously exported to South Korea and Japan.
China usually purchases various coloured sesame seeds from the country, yet, the trade is quite sluggish amid the restriction measures to contain the COVID-19 disease. This year, Japan has not purchased Myanmar’s sesame yet.
Sesame is cultivated in the country throughout the year. Magway Region, which has gained a reputation as the oil pot of Myanmar, is the main producer of sesame seeds. The seeds are also grown in Mandalay and Sagaing regions.
Of the cooking oil crops grown in Myanmar, the acreage under sesame seed is the highest, accounting for 51.3 per cent of the overall oil crop plantation.
The volume of sesame exports has registered at over 96,000 metric tons, worth $130 million, in the financial year 2015-2016; $100,000 tonnes, worth $145 million, in the 2016-2017FY; 120,000 tonnes, worth $147 million, in the 2017-2018FY; 33,900 tonnes valued $43.8 million in the 2018 mini-budget period, 125,800 tonnes, worth $212.5 million in the 2018- 2019FY and over 150,000 tonnes of sesame, worth $240 million in the previous 2019-2020FY, the trade data of Central Statistical Organization indicated. — KK/GNLM