THE price of sesame seeds remains in the bull market on the small stockpile, coupled with the Kyat weakening against the US dollar, the pulses trades from Mandalay said.
The price of black sesame seeds stood only K145,000 per three-basket bag in July, whereas it increased up to K185,000-K195,000 in early September, Soe Win Myint pulses depot in Mandalay stated.
“This year, the sesame production is possible to drop compared with the previous years. The extreme weather condition can affect the sesame quality and production,” said a grower.
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, a depot owner from Bayintnaung wholesale market said.
Myanmar’s sesame seeds export has 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.
Normally, Myanmar exports about 80 per cent of sesame production to foreign markets. China is the main 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 practices (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. About 600,000-800,000 tonnes of sesame seeds are yearly produced.
The volume of sesame exports was registered at over 96,000 metric tonnes, worth $130 million, in the financial year 2015-2016; $100,000 tonnes, worth $145 million, in the FY2016-2017FY; 120,000 tonnes, worth $147 million, in the FY2017-2018; 33,900 tonnes valued $43.8 million in the 2018 mini-budget period, 125,800 tonnes, worth $212.5 million in the FY2018-2019 and over 150,000 tonnes of sesame, worth $240 million in the previous FY2019-2020, the trade data of Central Statistical Organization indicated. — KK/GNLM