China high demand hikes sesame prices in Mandalay market

Myanmar exports 90 per cent of sesame production to foreign markets. Photo: Min Htet Aung
Myanmar exports 90 per cent of sesame production to foreign markets. Photo: Min Htet Aung

The prices of black and white sesame seeds are significantly rising in Mandalay market on the back of strong demand from China, Mandalay traders said. 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, according to Soe Win Myint depot in Mandalay. “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,” said owner of Soe Win Myint Depot. The prevailing price of sesame jumped to K205,000 per three-basket bag from K150,000. Similarly, the white sesame seeds have also priced a high of K103,000-138,000 depending on quality. As the sesame stockpile is thin, there is no way of the price drop in the coming weeks, he noted.
Myanmar exports 90 per cent of sesame production to foreign markets. China is the main 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, said an official from the Trade Promotion Department. 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 purchases various coloured 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 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 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 year; 100,000 tonnes, worth $145 million, in the 2016-2017FY; and, 120,000 tonnes, worth $147 million, in the 2017-2018FY.—Min Htet Aung/ Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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