Indian sesame seed exporters have bagged an export order of 4,800 tonnes from South Korea through tender participation. South Korea had floated a tender for supplying of 5,000 tonnes sesame seed for the current month. Of this, Indian exporters cornered about 4,800 tonnes and the remaining 200 tonnes were allotted to Ethiopia. In the latest tender opened on June 20, the exporting firms have offered $809-824 a tonne of white 98/2/1 quality and $758-780 a tonne of crushing quality.
Korea imposes Customs duty of 650 per cent on imports of sesame seed. Practically, no material is imported into the country by paying such duties as one kg of Indian sesame seed costing Rs 35 would cost Rs 350 after paying duties and other costs. Most imports are by way of Government tender or private licences, which too are available at a premium of about 300 per cent.
Sesame sowing is yet to commence in Gujarat, a major producer of the crop. Land under sesame seed cultivation is continuously decreasing in Saurashtra as some growers have shifted to cotton and pulses due to price advantage. New areas in Bundelkhand (in Madhya Pradesh) along with some regions in Uttar Pradesh have been brought under sesame seed planting in the recent time.
IOPEA will be holding a seminar on 9 July 2006 in Khajuraho to educate traders and farmers in the region. The seminar will cover statistics, new seed varieties, technology platforms, trade contracts, and other market-related information to improve quality.