Sesame, also known as Benne, grows in the annual plant of the family Pedaliaceae for its seeds. The plant is found in most of the Tropical, Subtropical & Southern temperate areas of the world.
The seeds are used as food & flavoring; also, high valued oil is extracted from it as the chief constituent around, 40 to 60% of the seed is oil.
Sesame seed is believed to have originated in India since 1600 BC for its users based on the benefits on human health, though the scope varies from variety to variety.
Found typically in three to four varieties worldwide, namely,
The golden/brown Sesame seeds are the most common ones.
The white sesame seeds that are typically very expensive.
The Black Sesame seed is widely used in Asian countries.
The Red Sesame seeds, rich in aroma used mainly in dishes to enhance its taste.
The topmost producers of the seeds are Tanzania (15% production share), Myanmar (13%), India (13%), China (10.6%), Sudan (8.6%), Nigeria (7.5%), and Ethiopia (4.4%).
The white and other lighter-colored sesame seeds are common in Europe, the Americas, West Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. The black and darker-colored sesame seeds are mostly produced in China and Southeast Asia.
In 2016 Tanzania produced 6.1 million tonnes of sesame seeds and was the top global producer.
As far as exports are concerned, India ranks number one with a 25% market share, followed by Nigeria (17%), Sudan (10%), Myanmar (7.%), Ethiopia (5%), China (3%).
The topmost importers are China & Japan, with an 11% share in imports.
Sesame oil, mainly from roasted seed, is an essential component of Japanese cooking and traditionally the principal use of the source. China is the second-largest importer of sesame, mostly oil-grade. China exports lower-priced food-grade sesame seeds, particularly to Southeast Asia.
Followed by Turkey (9%), South Korea (6%), Vietnam (5%), Israel (4%), India (4%), Egypt (3%), United States (3%).
Sesame seed is a high-value cash crop. Prices have ranged between USD 800-1700 per metric ton between 2008 and 2010.
The global value of the consumption valued at USD 6,669 million in 2018 is projected to reach UDS 7,200 million by 2024, mainly due to changing consumption patterns, especially in European countries are expected to fuel the demand for the seeds.
Sesame seed production has increased over the years, and so the demand & trade.
Price levels for the same at different origins show similar developments & indicate price interdependency between the various global suppliers. Sesame has annual price volatility of around 25 to 30%, mainly due to the supply issues rather than the crop failures.