Sesame Market in 2023 – From Global Challenges to Local Demand

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January: Steady Market amid Global Tensions

Robust Demand from China Counters COVID-19 Concerns

January saw a stable sesame market, with a slight uptick in prices. This was driven by increased local demand due to colder weather and sustained international interest, especially from China. Despite the ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the market remained resilient, with white sesame prices rising by $0,14/kg and black sesame by $0,18/kg.

The Indian sesame market faced challenges with high prices impacting its competitiveness in Korean tenders. African nations, especially Nigeria and Sudan, saw a surge in demand, which inadvertently benefited the Indian market by reducing its reliance on imports.

February: Political Influences and Market Stability

Nigeria’s Political Climate Influences Global Prices

In February, political unrest in Nigeria led to a minor increase in sesame prices globally. The market was also influenced by the Korean tender’s expectations, where the anticipated average bid for African sesame was between $2,050 – $2,300 per ton.

The Indian market, despite facing stiff competition, benefited indirectly from the rising global prices. However, the concern remained over India’s participation in the Korean tender due to a significant price difference compared to African nations.

March: Volatility Amidst Crop Scarcity

Shortage of Quality Crops Drives Price Surge

March was marked by significant price volatility due to a shortage of high-quality sesame crops. This scarcity led to a surge in prices, impacting global market dynamics.

Domestically, the Indian market saw a historic shift as white sesame prices overtook those of black sesame for the first time. This unusual market behavior led to strategic stockpiling of black sesame by major players, anticipating a potential future price hike.

April: Weather Challenges and Market Impact

Unpredictable Climate Disrupts Sesame Production

April’s market was significantly affected by unpredictable weather in key sesame-growing regions of India. Heavy rainfall and strong winds disrupted harvesting, particularly impacting the Ravi harvest and summer crops like sesame.

Despite these challenges, there was a sense of anticipation in the market, with hopes pinned on the upcoming Korean tender to stimulate demand. However, the overall impact on the sesame market was limited, leading to stagnant prices and subdued trading activities.

Shrinking Cultivation Areas and Crop Damage Spark Concerns for Sesame Farmers in India

May: Downward Trend and Global Influences

Increased Production Abroad Lowers Prices

In May, the sesame market witnessed a downward trend. Global factors, such as increased production in Tanzania and Mozambique and competitive rates from Brazil, exerted downward pressure on prices.

The Korean tender, though a focal point of market attention, failed to significantly impact prices due to the overarching influence of global supply dynamics and domestic production trends.

June: Continuing Price Decline

Intensified International Competition Influences Market

June continued the trend of declining sesame prices, with an 8% drop noted. The Indian market, in particular, faced pressure from international competition, with sesame imports from Tanzania, Mozambique, and Brazil affecting domestic pricing.

The entry of Sudanese and Pakistani sesame into the market further intensified competition, complicating the pricing landscape and market dynamics for Indian exporters.

July: Market Recovery and Tender Influence

Korean Tender Spurs Cautious Optimism

July observed a modest recovery in the sesame market, primarily influenced by the Korean tender. Despite this, the market faced significant international competition, particularly from African nations, which kept the price increases in check.

The market’s resilience was a positive sign, but the global supply dynamics continued to play a crucial role in determining the market trajectory. The Indian market remained cautiously optimistic, adjusting to the evolving international trends.

Global Sesame Market Witnesses Diverse Trends in Major Producing and Consuming Countries

August: Stability Amidst Global Pressures

Korean Tender Results Bring Slight Uptrend

In August, the sesame market experienced a phase of stability with a slight uptrend, largely attributed to the results of the Korean tender. Despite record-breaking deals in the tender, the market continued to face pressure from high import volumes and international competition.

The Indian market particularly felt the impact of these global dynamics, balancing between maintaining competitive pricing and catering to domestic demand.

September: Significant Price Downturn

Brazilian Sesame Influx and Low Local Demand

September marked a significant downturn in prices, dropping by approximately 8-9% over six weeks. The primary driver of this decline was the influx of Brazilian sesame and a subdued local demand.

The anticipated Korean tender offered some hope for market stabilization. However, the market remained cautious, awaiting clearer signals for future trends.

October: Recovery Driven by Domestic Demand

Increased Local Demand and Tender Expectations

In October, the sesame market saw signs of recovery. Increased domestic demand, along with concerns about local crop quality and yield predictions, drove this change. The market also responded to the anticipation surrounding the Korean tender.

Despite these positive developments, the impact on the overall market remained constrained due to ongoing international competition and the complex dynamics of the global sesame market.

November: Steady Market Progress

Korean Tender and Cultivation Dynamics Play Key Roles

November’s market showed a steady progression. The outcomes of the Korean tender, along with a 6% reduction in cultivation area compared to the previous season, positively influenced the market.

However, the high pricing of Indian sesame compared to international rates limited significant growth. The market continued to adjust to these pricing dynamics while maintaining a steady course.

December: Anticipating Seasonal Demand

Global Competition and High Prices Limit Growth Potential

As the year concludes, December’s market is expected to show some vibrancy due to increased seasonal demand. However, the potential for significant price hikes is likely to be limited by ongoing international competition and high Indian prices.

The market is anticipated to focus on immediate demands rather than speculative investments, maintaining cautious optimism as it navigates through the global and domestic factors shaping the sesame trade.


The sesame market in 2023 presented a complex and dynamic picture, influenced by a myriad of factors including global competition, political situations, weather patterns, and international tenders. While the market showed resilience and adaptability, the year was characterized by cautious trading and strategic responses to evolving global and domestic scenarios.

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