The prices of sesame seeds are expected to remain higher on the back of strong demand from China even when the fresh sesame will be harvested in September. The prevailing price of sesame is pegged at K160,000-210,000 per bag depending on quality. The price significantly rose as against that in early July. The price is likely to fluctuate around K200,000 per bag during the harvest time. As the sesame stockpile is thin, there is no way of the price drop in the coming weeks. This year, high sesame producing regions of Myanmar (Magway, Mandalay and Sagaing regions) experienced low yield due to drought impacts. During the meantime, China high demand hiked the prices.
Myanmar increasingly sends sesame seeds to China market. The price fluctuates a bit. The gradual increase in sesame prices since last week of July has been attributed to high demand by China when the drought reduced crop yield in the country. The various varieties of sesame are priced good, especially black and white sesame varieties. Myanmar exports 90 per cent of sesame production to foreign markets. China is the leading buyer of Myanmar sesame, which is also shipped to markets in Japan, South Korea, China (Taipei), 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 are also exported to South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, China buys various colored sesame seeds from the country.
The number of sesame acreages has increased in the country. Sesame is cultivated in the country throughout the year. Magway Region, which has gained a reputation as the oil pot of Myanmar, is the primary 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 is the highest, accounting for 51.3 per cent of the overall oil crop plantation.
The volume of sesame exports was registered at over 96,000 tonnes, worth $130 million, in the 2015-2016 financial years, 100,000 tonnes, worth $145 million, in 2016-2017FY; and, 120,000 tonnes, worth $147 million, in 2017-2018FY.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar