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Sesame seeds: what is the extent of the damage?

June 16, 2020 3:26 PM, Der AUDITOR
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NEW DELHI. Contradictory statements are circulating in the sesame seed market regarding the new crop. Among other things, it is reported that unexpectedly heavy rainfall has damaged some of the plants.

Provisional loss estimates

In the Indian state of West Bengal, the main cultivation area for brown sesame seeds, heavy rain showers are said to have caused losses in the summer crop. About 50% of the crop is said to have been damaged, but exact figures are not currently available. The high moisture content of 10-12% instead of the usual 7-8% in the seeds has reduced the oil content to 25-28% according to estimates. Last year it was around 36-38%.

Most of the summer crop, consisting of white sesame seeds, is grown in Gujarat and market players report that the crop should be completed soon. Here, too, the rainfall is said to have had a negative effect on the crop still to be brought in. Originally, market players had estimated the summer crop at a total of 100,000 metric tonnes - 65,000-70,000 metric tonnes of white sesame seeds and 15,000-20,000 metric tonnes of black sesame seeds. In the meantime, however, the forecasts have been reduced - to 50,000-52,000 metric tonnes of white sesame seeds and 10,000 metric tonnes of black sesame seeds. This would still be more than the amount that was harvested last summer.

Prices are up again

Market participants recommend that these estimates be treated with caution. The harvest should already be largely completed and the multi-year low in sesame prices is certainly awakening the desire for higher prices in some exporters. Nevertheless, export prices have been raised for the time being. In addition to the potential crop damage, successful tender participation and demand from China should boost prices. The coming weeks will also show what impact the new crops from Tanzania and Mozambique will have on the market.

Sesame seed prices, India

Type

USD/mt

Hulled, 99,95%

1.63-1.68

Natural, 99.95%

1.35-1.40

CIF Hamburg

View more information
price chart, sesame seeds, hulled, mechanically dried, 99.95%, India
price chart, sesame seeds, unhulled, 99.95%, India
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price chart sesame seeds, hulled, mechanically dried
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price chart sesame seeds, natural

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