Conflicts in Middle East and its impact on Price in India

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East has extensive implications for various facets of international relations, including economics and trade. One notable area facing impact is the global logistics and supply chain industry. The disruption in the supply chain is expected to result in increased logistics costs, particularly affecting shipments of agricultural commodities that use this route. Consequently, this disruption is likely to lead to higher commodity prices.

And the same goes with Egypt as well. Egypt’s heavy dependence on sesame imports, primarily sourced at 86% from Sudan in 2022, has encountered significant disruptions due to the ongoing Sudanese conflict since April 2023. This disturbance has had a profound impact on Egypt’s sesame seed supply. Given the ongoing challenges in Sudan’s sesame seed production and the influx of Sudanese migrants to Egypt due to the conflict, there is an expected surge in Egyptian sesame seed imports. This situation underscores the importance for Egypt to explore alternative sources beyond Sudan. Notably, India and Brazil have demonstrated increased export activity to Egypt in 2023. India experienced a year-on-year increase of 27.06%, exporting 3,311 metric tons of sesame seeds to Egypt from January to July 2023, while Brazil’s exports saw a remarkable 189% year-on-year surge, reaching 2,432 metric tons from January to October 2023. Despite Egypt’s efforts to boost local sesame production, we predicts a continued absence of Sudan’s sesame market, exerting an influence on the Egyptian sesame seed industry. Consequently, Egypt must effectively diversify its sourcing channels to enhance sesame supply in 2024.

Sesame seeds hold a crucial position in Egyptian cuisine and culture, frequently featured in a variety of dishes that appeal to all segments of the population. Egypt’s annual local consumption of sesame seeds amounts to 100,000 metric tons (mt), with a substantial 75% utilized in the production of Tahini and Halva. This underscores the noteworthy dependence on sesame seeds in the creation of staple Egyptian food products.

Top countries of Egyptian sesame seed imports

Nevertheless, Egypt’s annual domestic sesame production, estimated at 30,000 metric tons, falls significantly short of meeting the market’s demand of 100,000 metric tons. As a result, Egypt heavily depends on sesame imports, with a substantial 86% sourced from Sudan in 2022. In 2021, Egyptian sesame seed imports experienced a decline due to reduced supply from Sudan following a military coup in October. Despite this, the close proximity between Egypt and Sudan facilitates easy transportation, and Sudanese sesame, renowned for its quality, remains the primary choice for most Halva and Tahini factories in Egypt.

However, the conflict in Sudan since April 2023 has severely disrupted Egypt’s sesame supply chain. Traditionally a key global supplier, Sudan has faced challenges, leading to shortages in the Egyptian market and a subsequent rise in prices. This scarcity has notably impacted processed Halva and Tahini production in Egypt, resulting in a price increase for Halva to EGP 74.67 per kilogram in May 2023, representing a 9% month-on-month increase.

In response to these supply chain vulnerabilities, the Egyptian Government aims to enhance sesame cultivation. The Ministry of Agriculture plans to increase sesame cultivation areas to 150,000 acres by 2024, marking a significant 60% year-on-year increase, with the goal of strengthening local production.

Moreover, the migration of the Sudanese community to Egypt, driven by ongoing conflicts, is expected to contribute to an increase in the consumption of sesame seeds within the country. We predicts persistent challenges associated with Sudan’s inability to produce sesame seeds, combined with the expanding Sudanese community in Egypt, leading to a heightened demand for Egyptian sesame seed imports. This underscores the ongoing imperative for Egypt to explore alternative sourcing strategies beyond Sudan.

India and Brazil, as alternative suppliers, collectively accounted for 11% of Egyptian sesame seed imports in 2022, indicating a rise in the sesame seed supply to Egypt. India experienced a notable 21.76% year-on-year increase, exporting 3,311 metric tons of sesame seeds to Egypt from January to July 2023, while Brazil’s exports surged by an impressive 189% year-on-year, reaching 2,432 metric tons from January to October 2023. Despite Egypt’s endeavors to enhance local sesame production, we anticipates the persistent absence of Sudan’s sesame market, influencing the Egyptian sesame seed industry. Consequently, Egypt must proactively diversify its sourcing channels to effectively boost sesame seed supply in 2024.

Israel functions as a net importer of fresh produce, with India playing a limited role as a supplier of cereals and oilseeds. The country’s imports have grown at a rate of two percent annually, constituting over 50 percent of its total agricultural produce supply. The major agricultural imports comprise cereals, accounting for approximately 26 percent, and oilseeds, constituting around 10 percent.

In the realm of agricultural imports, European countries play a more significant role compared to India. India’s involvement in supplying agricultural products to Israel is minor. Furthermore, in terms of exports, Israel is ranked 36th for cereals and 21st for oilseeds globally. India predominantly exports these products to regions such as Asia, Europe, and North America.

In December 2023, the prices of sesame seeds in India rose by 27.06% year-on-year, reaching USD 1.81 per kilogram. This surge can be attributed to supply shortages in key producing nations and heightened demand from the export market, with a particular emphasis on China. Additionally, apprehensions about crop losses resulting from climate change are expected to exert continued upward pressure on prices.

The wholesale price of sesame seeds in Gujarat, India, witnessed a year-on-year increase of 27.06% to reach USD 1.81 per kilogram in Week 49. Throughout the year 2023, sesame prices in India have consistently surpassed the levels recorded in 2022, displaying minimal fluctuations as of June 2023.

Several factors contribute to the escalation of sesame seed prices in India. A primary driver is the supply shortage in key producing nations in Africa, including Niger, Mozambique, and Tanzania. These countries have faced reduced production due to severe droughts linked to the El Niño phenomenon, resulting in a global upswing in sesame seed prices. The demand from the export market, notably from China, has also played a role in the price surge. Despite a decrease in China’s sesame seed import volume in 2023, the existing demand-supply gap is anticipated to persist, continuing to drive imports and uphold prices.

Moreover, India is grappling with a setback as sesame arrivals fall short of expectations. In Week 48, only 472 metric tons of sesame seeds were delivered to the trade market. The ongoing concerns about the impact of climate change on production are expected to maintain an upward trajectory in prices.

The continuing conflicts in the Middle East have wide-ranging impacts that resonate across the global business arena. It is crucial for companies to remain well-informed, adjust to evolving conditions, and deploy effective risk management strategies. Through vigilant monitoring of geopolitical events and maintaining adaptability, businesses can enhance their ability to navigate the challenges posed by the Middle East’s dynamic environment and sustain success in an ever-interconnected world.

The strait serves as a possible bottleneck for agricultural supply chains, witnessing the transit of over 50 million tonnes of agricultural products annually. In a broader context, the shipping industry is susceptible to increased costs if rising security concerns prompt shipping companies to reroute their operations.


Global Sesame Seeds Market Report

According to Market Square Insights’ analysis, the global market for sesame seeds is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.38% from 2022 to 2029 and reach USD 8,146.11 million.

The driving factors of the sesame seeds market:

• Rising demand for sesame seeds due to the popularity of ethnic cuisine and the rising need for natural and healthful food items in a variety of food applications, such as bakery, confectionery, snacks, and oils.

• An increase in consumer health consciousness as people become more aware of the potential health advantages of products like sesame seeds, which they view as a rich source of fiber, protein, and minerals.

• Growing sesame seed consumption in Asia Pacific nations like China, India, and Japan as a result of their culinary heritage and culture, which has resulted in the region holding a significant market share of the world’s sesame seed market.

• A rise in the use of sesame-based products and ingredients by food producers and processors, who are becoming more aware of the adaptability and usefulness of sesame seeds in different recipes and formulations.

Regulatory Landscape and trade policies affecting the sesame seeds market:

• Food safety regulations: Sesame seeds must abide by a number of rules and guidelines for food safety, including the Codex Alimentarius, which establishes upper limits for pesticide residues and other contaminants in food items. Additionally, certain nations, including the European Union, mandate the labelling of allergens on food goods, including sesame seeds.

• Import and export regulations: Different nations have laws governing the import and export of sesame seeds, including taxes, quotas, and licencing restrictions. For instance, to maintain domestic supplies, India has outlawed the export of raw sesame seeds whereas the United States charges a 7.5% import tariff on sesame seeds.

• Other policies include trade agreements, organic certification, etc.

• In general, the regulatory environment and trade policies affecting the market for sesame seeds are complicated and varied. As a result, businesses must keep up with the most recent changes and regulations to maintain compliance and market access.

Future outlook:

• The future outlook for the sesame seeds market is positive, with several factors contributing to its growth, including the increasing demand for natural and healthy food products, the rising popularity of ethnic cuisine, and the expanding use of sesame seeds in various applications. The market is also likely to benefit from the growing adoption of sustainable and organic farming practices, as well as advancements in technology and supply chain management.

• In addition, the sesame seeds market is expected to witness significant growth in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in countries such as India, China, and Japan, due to their culinary traditions and the cultural significance of sesame seeds. The Middle East and Africa region, which is a major producer of sesame seeds, is also expected to continue to play a significant role in the global sesame seeds market.

• However, the sesame seeds market may face challenges such as supply chain disruptions, changing consumer preferences, and regulatory changes that may impact trade and market access. Companies operating in the sesame seeds market will need to stay ahead of these trends and challenges to remain competitive and take advantage of the growth opportunities in the market.

Our Point of View

The global sesame seeds market is experiencing steady growth driven by factors such as increasing demand for sesame seeds in food applications, rising health awareness, and growing consumption of sesame seeds in Asia Pacific countries. However, the regulatory landscape and trade policies affecting the market are complex and diverse, and companies need to stay updated on the latest developments and requirements to ensure compliance and market access. The future outlook for the market is positive, with several factors contributing to its growth, including the increasing demand for natural and healthy food products, rising popularity of ethnic cuisine, and expanding use of sesame seeds in various applications. However, companies need to stay ahead of supply chain disruptions, changing consumer preferences, and regulatory changes to remain competitive and take advantage of the growth opportunities in the market.
korea map

South Korean Sesame Seeds Market Study.

South Korea is a key market for the sesame seeds trade. South Korea Consumes around 100,000 Metric Tons of Sesame seeds annually, South Korea has a population of around 50 million people it is one of the highest per capita Consumers of sesame seeds.

Mamta commodities is one of the leading agent for sesame seed in the Korean market with more than 1/3rd of the market share for South Korean government tender.

Demand and Import Pattern

The local crop is usually of less than 10,000 MT and to meet the demand around 90,000 MT of Sesame seeds are Imported.

There is a very heavy duty on Sesame seeds imported into Korea. Import from outside of quota attracts 630% of the CIF value as Duty. Which makes importing outside of Quota cost-prohibitive.

Due to a high tax rate and a very high price of Sesame seeds in the local market. It is estimated that around 10,000MT of sesame seeds is brought into Korea every year by means of hand carry.

Other than these figures, sesame seeds in broken or powder form are also imported into Korea which are then used for Oil Production. The broken sesame seeds do not attract the high duty and hence around 40,000 to 50,000 MT of sesame powder is imported into Korea for the production of Sesame oil.

Origins Supplying to South Korea.

Let us now look at where the Sesame seeds flow into Korea through the means of import.


  • Stake of India and China together makes up for around 75% of the total import.
  • The market stake of China has been rising over the few years.
  • Indian Stake in the Korean market has been declining.

India due to its abundance of Sorting and Hulling factories along with competitive prices and China due to its trade agreements which Korea. A lot of indirect trade to Korea does happen through China as well. The rest of the origins keeps on fluctuating year on year on year.

Import Pattern

Unlike the rest of the world where the import of Sesame Seeds is more or less unrestricted here in the South Korean market is imported through 3 main channels.

  • Government tender – Around 44KMT
  • From China under Free Trade Agreement – Around 24KMT
  • Private Quota – Around 10-12KMT

Government Tender

All the 3 channels of import are controlled by aT, a state-owned company established for price stabilization, agriculture & fisheries industry promotion and farmer/fisherman support, etc., They have been controlling TRQ for and on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs.

Sesame Seeds import tender is quite unique to Korea and aT through its government tender is the largest direct importer of Sesame seeds in Korea. These tenders are held 5-6 times throughout the year with multiple deadlines of delivery per tender thus efficiently managing the Sesame seeds stock in Korea.

Quality parameters are as below.

In this government tender Sortex quality sesame seeds are imported mainly for edible as well as crushing use. 2 types of specs are imported through this tender. One is high quality and the other is general quality the specs of which are on the screen. The recent trend has been of importing General Quality instead of High-Quality cargo.

South Korean Supply Chain

The Process of Supplying to the Korean market is not as straightforward as other destinations but with right set of information, it can be an essential destination to export to.

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