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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.

Video Presentation