Sesame Seed Export, A Lucrative Business Opportunity

Sesame Seed Export, A Lucrative Business Opportunity

Sesame Seed Export: A Lucrative Business Opportunity

Sesame seeds are one of the oldest oilseeds in the world, with a history of cultivation dating back to 3000 BC. Sesame seeds are rich in protein, oil, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, making them a valuable ingredient for various food and personal care products. Sesame seeds are also used as a spice, a condiment, a garnish and a source of edible oil.

How to start a sesame seed export business?

Sesame seed export is a lucrative business opportunity for many countries, especially in Asia and Africa, where sesame seeds are mainly grown. According to Tridge, the global export value of sesame seeds was USD 1.8 billion in 2020, with India being the largest exporter with a market share of 31.37%, followed by Myanmar (10.74%), Tanzania (10.7%), China (7.48%) and Mozambique (7.05%). The top importers of sesame seeds were China (17.6%), Japan (11.8%), Turkey (9.9%), South Korea (8.2%) and Vietnam (7.3%) .

The demand for sesame seeds is expected to grow in the coming years, due to the increasing health awareness and consumption patterns of consumers, especially in North America and Europe, where sesame seeds are considered as superfoods. Sesame seeds have various health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, preventing cancer, improving digestion and skin health, and boosting immunity . Sesame seeds are also versatile and can be used in various cuisines, such as Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Mediterranean dishes.

To start a sesame seed export business, one needs to consider the following factors:


Sesame seeds should be clean, dry, uniform in size and color, free from foreign matter, insects, mold and rancidity. Sesame seeds can be either hulled or unhulled, depending on the preference of the buyers. Hulled sesame seeds have their outer layer removed, making them softer and lighter in color. Unhulled sesame seeds retain their outer layer, making them crunchier and darker in color .


Sesame seeds are usually exported in bulk quantities, ranging from 10 kg to 25 kg bags or containers. The quantity of sesame seeds exported depends on the demand of the buyers and the availability of the supply.


Sesame seed prices vary depending on the quality, quantity, seasonality and market conditions. Sesame seed prices are also influenced by the international price fluctuations and competition from other exporters. Sesame seed prices can be negotiated with the buyers based on the current market rates and trends.


Sesame seeds should be packed in strong, durable and moisture-proof bags or containers that can withstand handling and transportation. Sesame seeds should also be labeled with the product name, origin, weight, date of packing, expiry date and any other information required by the buyers or the importing countries.


Sesame seeds should be shipped by air or sea freight, depending on the distance, cost and urgency of the delivery. Sesame seeds should also be insured against any loss or damage during transit.


Sesame seed exporters need to obtain various documents to facilitate the export process, such as export license, phytosanitary certificate, certificate of origin, invoice, packing list, bill of lading or airway bill, insurance certificate and any other documents required by the buyers or the importing countries.

Sesame seed export is a profitable business opportunity that can generate income and employment for many farmers and traders in the producing countries. Sesame seed exporters need to ensure that they provide high-quality products that meet the standards and specifications of the buyers and the importing countries. Sesame seed exporters also need to keep abreast of the market trends and opportunities to expand their customer base and increase their sales.

Sesame Seed Export: A Global Overview

Sesame seeds are one of the oldest oilseed crops in the world, cultivated for their edible seeds and oil. They are widely used in various cuisines, especially in Asian, Middle Eastern, and African dishes. Sesame seeds are also valued for their nutritional and health benefits, as they are rich in protein, fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and lignans.

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), sesame seeds were the world’s 995th most traded product in 2021, with a total trade value of $3.47 billion. The global trade of sesame seeds decreased by 4.04% from 2020 to 2021, mainly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the demand and supply of the commodity. Sesame seeds accounted for 0.016% of total world trade in 2021.

The major exporters of sesame seeds in 2021 were India ($425 million), Sudan ($402 million), Niger ($344 million), Ethiopia ($291 million), and Nigeria ($256 million). These five countries together accounted for 49.5% of the global sesame seed exports. The major importers of sesame seeds in 2021 were China ($1.26 billion), Turkey ($287 million), Japan ($220 million), South Korea ($154 million), and Greece ($113 million). These five countries together accounted for 60.2% of the global sesame seed imports.

Sesame Seed Export: Trends and Challenges

The global sesame seed market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6% from 2023 to 2028, reaching $8.5 billion by 2028, according to Mordor Intelligence. The growth of the market is driven by the increasing consumer awareness of the health benefits of sesame seeds, the rising demand for superfoods, and the growing use of sesame seeds as ingredients in various food and personal care products.

However, the market also faces some challenges, such as international price fluctuations, strong competition from other oilseed crops, and the risk of salmonella contamination in sesame seeds. Moreover, the market is affected by the climatic conditions, pest infestations, and political instability in some of the major producing countries, such as Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

Sesame Seed Export: Opportunities and Strategies

To capitalize on the opportunities and overcome the challenges in the global sesame seed market, exporters need to adopt various strategies, such as:

  • Diversifying their export destinations and markets, especially in emerging economies with high demand for sesame seeds, such as China, Turkey, and Vietnam.
  • Improving their product quality and safety standards, by implementing good agricultural practices (GAPs), good manufacturing practices (GMPs), and traceability systems.
  • Investing in research and development (R&D) to develop new varieties and hybrids of sesame seeds that are more resilient to pests, diseases, and droughts.
  • Promoting their products through effective marketing and branding strategies, highlighting the nutritional and health benefits of sesame seeds.
  • Collaborating with other stakeholders in the value chain, such as processors, traders, and associations, to enhance their market access and competitiveness.


Essential Topics You Should Be Familiar With:

  1. sesame seed export
  2. export tariff
  3. timber export
  4. wood export
  5. wheat export
  6. rice export
  7. food export
  8. sugar export
  9. banana export
  10. fruit export
Scroll to Top