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Thursday, Jan 08, 2004

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Sesameseed exports may top 2.5 lakh t

G. Chandrashekhar

Mumbai , Jan. 7

WITH rebound in output and excellent demand from the international market, sesameseed exports from the country are booming as never before. Not only are the processors and exporters enjoying good margins, growers, too, have been able to obtain remunerative prices this season.

According to Indian Oilseeds and Produce Exporters Association (IOPEA), within three months of crop arrival in September, export shipments crossed the one-lakh tonne (lt) mark.

China has been a major buyer with estimated purchase of 40,000 tonne so far, mainly natural white sesameseed, used for crushing into oil or for hulling.

"Prospects for exports in the coming months are bright as besides traditional buyers, China is expected to remain in the market to cover the requirement. As a result, total exports during the current year may cross 2.5 lt valued at over Rs 1,000 crore," said Mr Kishore Tanna, Chairman of the association.

Following emergence of massive overseas demand, prices in the domestic market have moved sharply up — from the opening rate of Rs 25,000 to the current level of around Rs 40,000 a tonne. Big demand for hulled sesameseed, too, is contributing to export performance.

Currently, hulled variety is quoted at about Rs 50,000 a tonne, an attractive price for buyers considering that offers from other origins such as Central America are said to be $ 300 a tonne higher.

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