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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sesame Seed Market Report 12th November 2008

First we would like to thank all the esteemed friends and guest whom we had the pleaure of meeting at SIAL , Paris.It was our pleasure and honor to have met you there and a great learning experience for us.

Markets as we expected and mentioned in our previous Market Report started going down after the intital covering pressure eased off and the arrivals picked up after diwali.News of a good African crop is spreading around and this time the Africans have priced themselves very competitively.

The markets in India have falled almost 12% in the past 2 weeks however a portion of this fall was negated by the corresponding fall in the USD against the Indian Rupee which had touched an all time peak of 1 USD = Rs 50.15 in the last week of Oct. The Rupee is currently trading in the range of Rs 48- Rs 48.75 to a USD. Hence a 5-6% of the fall was negated by the Ruppee- USD fluctuation.

In real terms the prices have fallen back to almost the lowest levels they touched this season. The arrivals which picked up after Diwali Holidays have once again dwindled back to same or even lower levels in certain regions. We see some resistance at current levels as the domestic consuption in India picks up pace as the winter starts to set in. With 100% of the crop now harvested ,talking to the farmers and taking into account the average arrivals over the past 30 days from various local markets ,we can assume that the total crop in India should be around 220,000 Mt -240,000 Mt this year.,which falls roughly in the range we assumed last month.Last year the total crop in India was estimated to be about 380,000 Mt.So we are clearly
short by about 150,000 Mt , in addition to the problem of poor quality.

The quality remains a major problem this year, with almost all destinations having major rain damaged seeds.This is creating a big confusion in the market, the price variation between the lowest and the highest quality is almost 12% in the domestic market. The lowest being sold as Hulling ( This is actually the crushing grade, which is rain damaged ) and the highest ofcourse the 99/1 grade.Thea ration of Hulling Grade and 99/1 Grade arrival in the market is 90:10 this
year where it traditionally is about 60:40.The lower grade although looking very attactive in terms of pricing is giving much less yield and more and more sorting rejections which is taking the costs up. In the factory its hard to factor in these cost immediately but we believe sooner or later everyone in the trade will realize this and we should see some benchmark levels being formed. Due to this huge variation in the domestic pricing we see the same for the export
market as well , where our friends and clients have told us that the price band in Hulled Sesamebeing offered from India is almost $100 at the moment.

In a way we did want the prices to come down to sustainable levels to see the demand coming back to India but taking into consideration the current financial crisis we have our doubts that the buying pressure would resume anytime soon, the volumes are certain to drop this year but that could also mean slow but sustained buying all year round this time.Liquidity pressure and global turmoil are bound to affect the sentiments worldwide.

The arrival pressure has fizzed out from India, no doubt that the farmers are stocking marterial anticipating a price hike and usually the farmers dont panic that easy to pump all their cargo in the market if the prices fall. They might hold on to their stocks for good 5-6 months and continue to get limited amount in the market as and when they are in need of some money. African crop is out as well with shipments already taking place from Nigeria.Nigerian quality which traditionally goes to Japan for crushing is being tried by the middle eastern countries for the reason of cheaper pricing. Ethiopia and Sudan are just slightly cheaper than India. With the information we have from Africa , we dont see their prices falling too much as they clearly know that India is not their price competitior anymore
this year.

We now have to wait and see how much more the prices have to fall before the demand resumes and brings stablity to the market. Overall a 5% fall from here would get us below the lowest levels of this new crop and that would mean that technically all the stockists will start to loose money assuming that they all bought at the lowest levels.I am sure there will be some resistance at those levels and keeping aside the few volatile ups and lows that we may have a very "Boring" stable levels all year round. Just as last year the prices could not have just kept going up the same holds true for prices going down too much.Once again its really really difficult to judge the bottom this year and as we always emphasize its exteremly important to have a good average and little but consistant business this year to sustain oneself.India we believe still remains in a strong position as far as Hulled Sesame is concerned and although we have heard about some quantities being served from Africa and Middle east they are of limited quantity and accessible to a limited few.

We fear that a lot of companies might close their Sesame operations this year , we already have news about a few companies trying to finish their existing orders and stocks and step away from the market.Actually its not the sesame that is selling this season, "Only relations are selling". Friends and clients are back to the most trusted suppliers , and with slow down in demand they see no reason to go fishing around and risking huge amount of their money on someone unknow. I think that will and should be the trend this season as business will be done mostly on back to back or hand to mouth basis.

It has been a year or uncertainity , we started the year 2008 with extreme bullishness and by the end of it everyone seems to be bearish. Sometimes I get the feeling that in India the sesame prices are somehow magically linked to the stock markets.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sesame Seed Market Report 14th October 2008

As most of you must have been already updated by your respective suppliers about the Trade meeting that was held on 11th and 12th Oct in India.

Most of the eminent trade related people attended the conference which included the Exporters, Brokers and Local Suppliers . Everyone put forward their views about the crop size and quality. Our trade association also sent out survey teams to all Sesame producing states to give us all a first hand idea about the situation there.
As per our previous market report we estimated the crop size as follows
Origin Estimates Aug (Mts) Estimates in Sept (Mts)
U.P/MP 110,000 100,000
Rajasthan 110,000 100,000
Gujrat 70,000 70,000
Others 10,000 10,000
300,000 280,000
However at the trade the survey teams findings were as follows
Origin Estimates (Mts)
U.P/MP 85,000
Rajasthan 110,000
Gujrat 60,000
Others 10,000
265,000 Mt

However the traders and brokers from Rajasthan put forward their view that due to some late rains in Rajasthan at the time of harvesting there have been some damages and they estimate the quantity to be around 80,000 MT.Even the estimates in U.P and M.P were argued to be lower but not very significantly.

This gives us a range from 235,00 Mt to 265,000 Mt for the Indian crop.Everyone agrees that China has a better crop than last year and may not necessarily buy from India , unless the prices fall significantly here and even the African Crop looks very promising up and is estimated to be up by about 10% from last year.

All the crop is however delayed by 2-3 weeks in India due to the heavy rains at the time of harvesting and that means the arrival pressure is not building up at any destination.We also believe that although not many people have sold big quantities forward this year as buyers were reluctant to cover as well so early on , we have to take into prospective the collective sale that has happened over the last few weeks in anticipation of price fall by the Indian Exporters.The untimely Korean Tender's , last 2 of which combine to be a quantity of about 10,000 Mt is mostly open contracted and is yet to be covered along with numerous smaller contracts that our export fraternity has also sold without covering.

The arrivals that picked up in Gujarat and Rajasthan have been broadly stagnant and since in India we have Diwali holidays from 22nd Oct to 29th Oct there is a big rush to cover at all levels by exporters who need to fulfill their Oct-Early November shipments. The situation has been worsened by the rain damaged seeds which are estimated to be around 20-25% of the total crop this year.This quantity is totally unsuitable for exports and will get absorbed in the domestic oil crushing market in India.

Everyone at the meet also agreed that the demand will go down significantly this year due to the high prices and global financial turmoil which we believe is true as well.However with Indian export's touching 320,000 Mt figures last year even a drop 30% of global demand (Including Chinese demand which was about 60,000 Mt ) last year we still need to have about 200,000 Mt to export which is again the back to back situation we faced last year.

This should keep the prices firm atleast till African harvest starts in Nov End/December.The prices impact in the last few days may have surprised the buyers as the domestic prices have not really appreciates by that much as the FOB and CNF prices that the buyers may see reflecting on their respective current offers now as compared to 1-2 weeks ago. The problem here is that most sellers were offering prices in anticipation that the prices will fall , many not necessarily speculating but taking a calculated risk by estimating that prices may soften by 2-3 % as the arrivals pick up , however with that scenario gone now they now have to factor in not just the 2-3 % calculated risk but also the 4-5% price rise in the domestic market and the 2-3% fall in the USD. So suddenly the prices are 9-10% expensive although the price rise in Domestic market in India is only 4-5%.

As we assumed in our previous reports the fluctuation again this year should be in quantum's depending more on the USD and the market sentiments rather than actual prices as and when they are at a particular point of time. Also if by any "Bad Luck" the domestic demand of sesame seed in India which is traditionally very strong during the months of Nov end till Mid Jan remains strong as previous years we can easily see a consumption of about 50,000 Mt in the India which can further put pressure in the market.

Despite all the above we do not expect or want the prices to go up , we would rather see prices of sesame at a sustainable level with good volumes rather than very high prices and a major slow down in demand for the coming season as that can hurt any trade in the long term.Other destinations can easily substitute the Indian suppliers as far as Natural sesame is concerned but we still believe that India is still in a very strong position as far as Hulled Sesame seed is concerned. Last year we saw emergence of certain new destination for Hulled but those were mostly because of the crazy price escalation which gave them a window to match or even sell at lower prices than India at certain point of time as they managed to cover the raw material early on low prices.However that may not be the case this year as prices have started on a high and strengthened from those levels without touching the bottom.

This sudden price rise has caught most of the exporters and importers by surprise as everyone expected the prices to fall atleast for a short period which did not happen, everyone hopes here that once the covering buying is over for the Korean tender and short covering we may see prices slide again after Diwali i.e End Oct/Early Nov which should them open a window to cover again.We see another opening around End Jan after the African Crop and slowdown in Indian domestic demand.

Once again we emphasize that it would be very difficult to judge the bottom this year and most trade will have to be done based on a better average.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


We cordially invite you to visit our Stand in SIAL ,Paris 19th-23rd Oct at the India Pavilion , Hall 4.

It will be our honor and pleasure to have your presence at our stall.

We look forward to seeing you in Paris.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


If we could explain in one word the current situation about Sesame Seed in India, the word would be " NERVOUS". Its been very strange last few months, a lot of people were bearish till two month ago , the same people turned bullish after the news of bad crop in U.P and M.P and the same people are bearish again as the news of a good crop in China started to spread around.

It seems like the very same reasons that took the markets to dizzy heights last year are holding it back this year around. If you refer to our market report of September 2007 ( Refer to for old reports) you will notice that our main concern's then were the Shortfall in Chinese Crop and the falling USD against Indian currency which made the exports actually look more expensive than they actually were.

This year its again the same factors but totally reversed , China is said to have a better crop than last year which means that instead of "compulsive" buying which it had to do last time it can wait for the best opportunities and the cheapest destinations. The USD has appreciated by about 10% in the last 2 months and have made the prices look cheaper than they actually are in comparison to the local prices here in India which remain more or less constant with no major fall in the past 3-4 weeks. Of course we still expect that prices can go down further as and when the new crop arrivals start in full swing.

Its actually nice to see that the buyers have not panicky yet and have waited and covered only as per their requirements which has created stability in the market and a few traders and brokers have already started to get nervous and offering throw away price. However I think with all the bitter experiences of last year the buyers will be much better judges of character and service this year round.

After the high's of last year and the prices down by almost 50% compared to those high levels,
it is an open secret that current levels are very very attractive to the Importers despite the global slowdown in all Oil seeds but the fact remains is that just like the prices could not have kept going north it cannot just keep falling as well. I wish it was possible to judge the bottom but like last year we once again believe it is better to have the best lowest average price rather than knowing or missing
the lowest price.

The crop situation in India remains almost same as till 3-4 weeks ago, it has been raining heavily in Rajasthan and Gujrat in the past week and that is some concern again.Its not possible to judge the damage at such and early stage but we hope all keeps well. U.P and M.P are confirm to have not more than 50% of their total of last year and that should keep the stockists and speculators busy.Once again we think the up's and down's will be in quantum from now on as with the changing trends the degree of price variation is no more in small proportions but in 2-3 or more percentage points on daily/weekly basis.

The sowing in Africa is supposed to have started and we should get some news by next month about their sowing pattern's and estimates.The crop damage in Myanmar (Burma) is also confirmed and that should have some affect on china as a lot of that cargo goes to China through unofficial trade channels. The real impact of that will be known around End Oct/Early Nov when the real Chinese demand starts to build up in preparation for their New Year in January.

Our Initial Estimates for the India crop size is as follows

Origin Estimates Aug (Mts) Estimates in Sept (Mts)
U.P/MP 110,000 100,000
Rajasthan 110,000 100,000
Gujrat 70,000 70,000
Others 10,000 10,000
300,000 280,000

We also take the opportunity of inviting you to visit our Stall at SIAL , Paris from Oct -19th-23rd this year at the India Pavilion.It would be our pleasure and honor to meet you there.

Monday, August 25, 2008


As we all have already experienced, it has been a crazy year for Sesame and probably for all
other commodities as well. The speculators loved every bit of it as they moved the markets up
to dizzy heights and then let it fall at will.

Sesame prices touched unthinkable highs of around $3500 PMT for Hulled and almost $3000 for Natural.When the prices were rising everyone thought they would continue to go up but demand slowed down and we saw a huge correction in the prices since.It was sad to notice big defaults from suppliers in the start of the season and then surprisingly when the prices fell it was the buyers who started defaulting and that created a further panic in the market and prices stagnated.

Another major factor which contributed to the price fall was the Rumor of ban on Oilseeds by the Indian Govt , they
infact did ban the Export of Edible oils but thankfully left the Oilseeds out of the ban preview. With a lot of commodities already banned now it is unlikely that they will ban the Oilseeds in the coming months as Oct-Dec is harvest time formost of India's Oilseed products.

The USD is still playing hide and seek and after falling by as much 13-14% in the Oct 2007- March 2008 period it has
once again risen by about 8-9% in the last few months and we hope it will continue to trade in this region making the
export competitive , but then again it is impossible to judge its movement.

We saw a very very quite buying period in the last few months as a lot of buyer were sadly stuck with high priced cargo and with low demand at high levels the sales obviously went down .Sesame as we all know is not a necessary
ingredient for most and with high prices of each and every commodity worldwide there was bound to be some slack in
demand. However what I noticed in my 3 week trip to Europe and US talking to clients and end users that atleast for the bakery industry the fancy toppings are becoming a must for survival as the consumers are demanding something "extra" for the high prices.However Big consumers such as McDonald's have been rumored to have approved lesser seeds on their buns.Another big market has emerged meanwhile in terms on Tahini for direct consumption and as an important ingredient in Hummus which is growing rather rapidly globally. The Sesame oil consumption continues to grow despite high prices in places like China and other South East Asian countries.

The big question in everyone's mind at the moment is the new crop in India and China. The Chinese crop as always remains a big mystery for everyone , however the initial report from various sources point at a satisfactory crop this year with no major crop damages.However certain people also did mention that a lot of sesame area was converted into Soya on Govt instructions as they aim to be self reliant on Soya which is their basic food ingredient by 2015. Overall the estimate is that China will have a satisfactory but surely not enough to fulfill their entire demand and they may end up importing their shortfall and may not buy as aggressively from India due to the 10% duty wavier that they get when importing from African nations.

The data that we have at the moment shows that India exported about 270,000 Mt from 1st April 2007-1st Aug 2008 which is up about 80,000 from previous years and almost corresponds to the crop estimate that gave in Dec 2008.The growth was mainly due the excess import of about 40,000 Mt than usual from China , about 10,000 Mt by Korea and about 10,000 by Turkey and ofcourse other nations imported a bit extra as well like the USA , Syria , Malaysia , Taiwan etc.
Origin Initial estimates 2007 Crop in Sept First revision in Nov 2007 (Mt) Second revision in Dec 2007 (Mt) Initial estimates 2008 Crop in Aug (Mt)
MP/UP 250,000 180,000 150,000 110,000
Rajasthan 100,000 90,000 75,000 110,000
Gujarat 50,000 40,000 35,000 70,000
Others 20,000 15,000 10,000 10,000
Total 420,000 325,000 270,000 300,000
Initial estimates 2008 Crop in Aug (Mt)

The above is just our initial estimates and these can ofcourse change depending on the weather in the coming months till actual harvesting is done. The carry over stocks in India are almost negligible at the moment and as not much buying was done from overseas we believe that the stocks in various destinations are also not big as probably everyone at this moment wants to get rid of their stocks before the new crop cargo starts arriving at the destinations.

We believe that the new crop should be ready for shipments around End Sept/Early Oct but the crop will arrive
in full swing by Mid/End of October.

Now to the prices.In usual practice the new crop prices should be at a discount of about 15-20% from the closing
levels of Old crop in September , but the market dynamics have changed vastly over the past few years.All will
depend on how aggressive or watchful the buyers are at the start of the season.It will be hard to judge the bottom
this year as the stockiest and defaulters made big money this year and with little or no shipments in the July-September period most of their cash flow will be open.Liquidity play's a very important factor in India as their is virtually no credit at local buying level here and all business is on spot payment.
No news of any Korean tender for the moment but we believe there should be one next month and then again in October.

A lot of buyers and suppliers have had bitter experience this year and we hope that the Buyer's will finally recognize
the integrity and good work done by some of the reputed exporters and will support them in order to clean up the
trade and make life easier for all of us.

We have the rainfall data and monsoon maps and data with us and if you wish to see please feel free to ask us
for the same.If you need any other information , please feel free to contact us.

We also take the opportunity of inviting you to visit our Stall at SIAL , Paris from Oct -19th-23rd this year at the
India Pavilion.It would be our pleasure and honor to meet you there.

Monday, May 19, 2008


As you must already be knowing that the last Korean Tender of 5500 Mt was awarded to India. Once again it was at a discounted price in the range 2025-2060 PMT , however the USD has suddenly appreciated by about 3% here in India and that means technically speaking the levels are about $2100.

As expected that most bidder's for this tender were clearing out stocks so not much buying pressure has been witnessed in the market after that. However what it has done is cleared off all the "Pressure" stocks from the market. The last few months have been very quite , prices despite very low demand has managed to sustain bottom line levels and as everyone thought that there is large scale stocking at farmer or stockiest level , none of that has turned out true. The main fear that the exporters had was the Ban on exports and since most of our exporting community have
forward contract's of 1-2 months in average it looked like a very huge stock at that moment. Thankfully the Govt of India did not ban the exports and most stocks were cleared off ,although it took many drastic steps to control the prices by reducing import duties to Zero and implementing stock limits for traders,manufacturer's and exporters despite that we did not see a free fall in prices clearly indicating that stocks are indeed limited.

We are now in a situation where any return on demand is most likely to push the markets back up.Almost 70% of smaller Hulling factories have finished their stocks and have taken a pre-mature shutdown and will now resume only with the new crop. Few that are operating will continue to run at back to back contract and will not go long anymore this season. The Gujarat
summer crop that was eagerly awaited has finally arrived , we had various assumptions from people who indicated the crop to be as big as 30-40,000 Mt and as low as 20,000 Mt .In the one week of arrivals the average arrival in Gujarat is 500 Bags/Day. Even if we assume the crop to be 20,000 Mt , it roughly means about 250,000 Bags (80 Kg each) .If we do the math's that means to touch that volume we need to have an average of 10,000 bags per day for the next one month.
Our data tells us that its highly unlikely as even the main crop did not touch those levels this year.Also it is unlikely that the farmers are holding back crop as the levels are still very high and they are making more than double of last yr levels.

Sowing will commence is Early/Mid July and the new crop if all goes well arrives in Sept End/Early October.Everyone here talks of a big crop this time as the prices were high , but the fact is with all commodities gone up the farmers have so many to choose from and its too early to predict anything.However the farmers will be back to purchase farm seeds in June and our assumption is that they would need about 3-4000 Mt from the market(1% of total output) for resowing and that should clean up the market even further.

It is understandable that with high prices the demand has gone down but it still looks unlikely that the buyer's have enough to last them for next 5 months when the new crop arrives.China has been very quite and consuming its own stocks.Africa has been steady all this while but with low demand we have seen some panic selling lately.Lot of defaults heard of in Turkish market after they booked at high levels and the prices came down.The same for other markets as well. It is rather surprising as there were very little defaults from India this year despite the high levels.

We still believe that the demand will resume and we will see some prices corrections as that and the Govt of India are the only 2 factors holding the prices down .Central America and other destinations continue to trade sideways and the same with Indian prices if you leave out the discounted prices being offered by traders and exporters who are exiting the market for this season at the moment.

As we all know that there have been 2 major incidence in Myanmar and China this month where reportedly over 100,000 people have been killed and millions have been affected. We hope and pray that god gives peace to the souls of the departed and strength and courage to the one's who survived this cruel act of mother nature.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Its our pleasure and honor to announce that our factory "Shakumbhri Expo Impo Ltd" is now Kosher certified. Please feel free to contact us if you need Kosher certified Hulled or Natural Sesame Seed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


India once again got a major chunk of the 4000 Mt Korean Tender which was announced today.As expected there was profit booking due to the uncertainty in the Govt of India's export policy and fear of ban on exports due to the rising inflation concern. The prices were hugely discounted by the Indian bidder's to get rid of their positions.


INDIA – 300Mt at $2278 ,INDIA -300Mt at $2288 ,INDIA-500Mt at $2347 ,INDIA-300Mt at $2349,INDIA-1600mt at $2387,INDIA-500Mt at $2388,PAK-300Mt at $2385,PAK- 200Mt at $2389.

The African's were notably missing again showing the bottom line strength their stockiest and exporters are showing,also Chinese exporters which were seen enthusiastic during the last Korean tender were seen missing from action at these levels , indicating that their prices are still higher than India's at the moment.

The Govt of India announced some drastic steps to control price rises of food commodities in India , notably the reduction of duty to 0% on Edible oil imports , this could mean the edible oil seed industry can breath a sigh of relief for a little while as the govt will first try to acknowledge the impact of duty reduction , ofcourse with all International Oil prices on a high it might not have the impact that they foresee. They also imposed a ban on Non-basmati rice and that sends out a strong signal to the exporting community to curtail prices.Strict stocking quota will also be imposed to curtail hording which is leading to price rise. All these measures have given negative signals and we are already seeing reluctance from most exporters to enter into long terms contracts.

Its been a very quite last 2 weeks as usually happens in end March to Mid April but we are fast getting to a situation where all exporters are eager to ship out existing contracts first and clear their warehouses before getting into new contracts.We might see more back to back limited prompt shipments after April.We also believe that most people will have hurried their contracts and with god's help if there is no ban for this month will have cleared about 75% of their stocks. No one wants to step in the uncertain market at the moment and that would mean almost 70-80% of the hulling factories will take a shut down in or by end of May as the conversions have also eroded and demand slowed down.The brave few in the market will definitely pounce of that advantage and jack up the prices if and when the demand resumes.

As we discussed in our past reports that prices in the market are vastly varied and dependent on who has stocks at what levels and at what levels are they willing to clear those stocks out and that is the reason the buyers are probably seeing vastly different quotations from their various suppliers, this is also now evident from the Korean tender where the prices are actually lower than the current market prices.We believe if you are looking for a bargain April could be a very good month but buyers should be prepared to collect the cargo on prompt basis and stock the same at their warehouses rather than looking for long term contract which will carry a lot of risk for both suppliers and the buyers in the coming months.

We still believe that International market is bullish , its been 6 months since the supplies started , Chinese and Indian low level prices have been shipped and probably consumed by now , the African and Central American crops started late and that means their stocking happened at much higher levels and they would definitely like to make a profit of their stocks and will try to keep the prices high for as long as possible.Most buyers are now sitting on mid levels stocks and some high levels prices too as the business done on high levels was limited , that means that if prices fall more from current levels most buyers will stand to loose a lot of anticipated profit which is not a good sigh for trade. We are in a correction stage at the moment , April has always been a dull month for Sesame however with the "Lantern Festival" in China , the Olympics demand and ofcourse the much anticipated Ramadan buying could renew the demand and help take the prices back up. We have already touched the highs and there is no reason to believe that those levels will not be touched or breached once again. We saw huge panic and concern the buyers showed during the bull run clearly showing the demand undercurrent that remains.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Brief Sesame Seed Market Report March 2008

We had the pleasure of attending the "2008 China Conference on Sesame & Sesame Products (CCSSP)" which
was held in Beijing , China last week. The meeting was attended by many prominent speakers and traders from world over.
There were detailed discussions and presentation on various crops and stocks from India, China and African origin and the changing trends in world market.I would like to summarize the observations that I was able to make there , the below are my own interpretations on the points that were discussed there and may vary from other eminent people who were attending.
1:- The World stocks which include the stocks at Chinese ports , new crop arrivals in South America , Africa along with the stocks in China ,India and the estimated holding stocks with buyers do not seem to exceed the total volume of 215,000 -225,000 MT's.

2:- Many destinations in Africa including Ethiopia are almost over with their stocks and the little that are left there are in very strong hands and will not move out in low levels and the stockiest are not in a hurry to sell at the moment.
3:- The world demand estimated on import data's from past few years reflect that the total average demand should be in the range of 290,000-300,000 Mt for the coming 5 months before any other major crops comes out, this is including the traditional high period demand in the coming months for Ramadan but not including the occasional demand that may arise due to Beijing Olympics this year or the annual growth of about 4% in demand which has been recorded over the past few years. About 500,000 tourist from abroad and 6 Million visitor from within China are expected to arrive in Beijing over a period of 20 Days during the Olympics.
4:- The total shortfall in the world trade this year could be around 80-90,000 MT.
There seems to a large changing trends that has been observed in the world market over past few years , even with high prices it has been noticed that Sesame used in Tahini/Halva in the middle eastern countries has become a energy food for the poor there which is unlikely to be replaced with any other commodity in the near future.Although it is hard to sell with the high prices but it still remains a very important food ingredient there for the poor. The same goes for Chinese food habits where Sesame Oil despite high prices remains an integral and irreplaceable part of their staple diet.
We observed that there is also a new market that is developing with high prices of Sesame seeds where it is finding its way in the food chain along with various nuts as a high priced food garnish in gourmet food across restaurants. Talking to various people we learned that with high prices it is getting difficult for the end users to justify the price of simple dishes but with little garnish of sesame or nuts they can present their menu better and get better price realization. Like we say in India " Food is first for the eyes and then for the Tongue".
Prices in India remain firm , for the first time in 5 months we saw a correction in the mid of Feb after a Ban on export Edible Oil was imposed by the Govt of India , there was a big rumor that the next logical step if the prices in domestic prices do not stabilize would be banning of Export of Edible Seeds which would also include Sesame. That would certainly mean that prices in global markets would jump to unimaginable levels .
Corrections as we expected were inevitable but surprisingly have come not due to lack in demand but due to the Ban scare.
The ban is still a possibly so we suggest that buyer take precaution and call for their cargo as soon as possible and stock in their warehouses in case of any eventuality.Rising food prices are a concern of the Govt's worldwide and a similar concern was presented by the Myanmar contingent as well and they are also facing a possibility of an Export ban this year. Myanmar have had Sesame Seed export prohibitions earlier as well so a new ban cannot be ruled out ,in which case their exports which mainly goes to China will have to be supplemented from other destinations creating additional pressure in the market.
It was also noticed that Europe seems to be the only destination where the concentration of Sesame Imports is on Hulled Sesame more than Natural grade, the Hulled Sesame unlike Natural has production restrictions and at present India seems to have captured about 60-65% of the world's , the other major destinations supplying Hulled Sesame are mostly catering to a very different market.Hence it seems that there cannot be a huge stock of Hulled anywhere
with any buyer's in the world, certainly not to the extent that it could last them for 5-6 months before new supplies start. Ofcourse if someone decides to drop their sales volume over this period it's a different story but with regular sales the stocks are definitely not enough and that is the reason we have seen slow but steady buying even at higher levels.Most buyers have held back their buying but we hope and expect the demand to resume anytime soon.
Koreans picked up 1200 MT Crushing Quality Sesame from India and 300 MT from China at $2400 /PMT levels and another Korean tender for about 4000 MT is expected to be announced soon.We could see some profit booking in these but that would only mean more buying at local levels keeping the supplies tight.Markets in India have been quite over the last few weeks mainly due to the Ban scare and also due to the liquidity problem in the market,with end of Financial year in India on 31st March the cash flow problems multiply even more.
Overall as we expected right from the start of the season the market is still bullish and as we expected the jumps have been quantum in nature this year.We expect the trend to continue , its getting to a stage where selling at market price will become difficult only if one can make an average of all his buying the prices can be matched, that is the reason the buyers must have noticed the huge price differential in the market at the moment.We expect another quantum jump anytime the cash problem is solved and as time goes the scare of Ban will also subside which will renew the stockiest confidence.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sesame Seed Market Report 5th Feb,2008
Dear Sir/Madam,
As we are all already aware its been a roller coaster ride in the Sesame Seed market this year. Infact not just the sesame seeds but primarily all oil seeds and commodities are trading at their all time peaks.

Its a known fact now that the global output is way way short than expected while the demand remains strong and steady.We saw a slight correction in the prices after the 2800 Mt Korean Tender last month and after 3 cancellation the Koreans only managed a discount on about 50$ from the opening price and in the process Pakistan and African bids were taken back , giving strong indications that they are not sellers at low levels.

Africa notably Sudan and Ethiopia made huge supplies earlier to China and seem to be in no mood of selling in a hurry.We should also keep in mind that since Africa entered the market at a stage when global prices were already very high their stocking is also of a very high average price and in a panic market as this year they would well want to make big profits on those levels so any big correction there could be ruled out.

It is estimated that good Quality Natural Sesame from Africa are being traded at around $1900-$2000 levels.If we go by past experience the peak demand for African crop is yet to arrive which is before the month long Holy Ramadan which starts on 1st September this year well ahead of any new crop arrival from any origin. The demand for this should pick up around July/August. We wonder what the situation will be like then and fear that the importers might resolve to buying earlier than expected in anticipation of making profits in case there is situation of short supply.Unlike US and Europe where the demand will take a hit owing to high prices as Sesame might not be a necessary condiment in the Middle East and Indonesian demand is likely to be strong and steady for the period as eating Tahini/Halva and various other Sesame based products is almost ritualistic.

Scaringly enough the much awaited Beijing Olympics are in August as well and if the Chinese preparations and their disastrous crop is to be kept in mind we see no reason why they should not be back to buy huge loads around mid year as well. The Chinese demand is sluggish at the moment as they go for their long New Year Celebrations.With very cold winter that they are facing this year , chances are that consumption of Sesame Oil will go up as reported to us by a few of our clients there. The stocks in China remain limited and could well serve them for a few more months after which they are likely to be back in the market to cover more.We believe that the Chinese aggressive buying and quick decision policy has always given them good returns as this year and 4 years before as well when they had a crop shortage.Unlike most they seem to acknowledge and know the fact that their crop is barely enough to cover their needs and any shortfall has to be supplemented from elsewhere and this is the reason they were the first to buy from India and Africa early on at very attractive levels whereas the rest of the world waited and waited for corrections.This is the reason we believe if they are back to buy they WILL buy at all levels and probably clean up the stocks this time.

Zero stocks are nothing new these days , we have seen that happen in Africa last year where they finished every last tonne by Oct and India barely had anything last year to carry forward ,we could be facing the same in Guatemala and other Central American Countries this year. The Japanese are heard to be buying aggressively from Central America and even making advance contracts specially in countries like Bolivia and Paraguay. Bolivia and Paraguay are also reported to have a smaller crop as compared to last year.

Prices for Guatemala hulled are heard to be around $3500 FOB and the supply remains limited.They traditionally cater to a very large segment in North America and though the top end companies with money power may well be able to absorb the high prices a small segment from that market is bound to be diverted to the so called " Common" Indian Hulled Sesame creating additional demand.

The stocks in India remain limited , the fresh arrivals are virtually over and all the cargo is coming out from the stockiest. Prices have almost doubled from the season start so most stockiest have sold 50% of their stocks and recovered their principle amount. They are now sitting entirely on their profits and only the ones who like to maintain their cash flow are selling. This means that unlike previous years all stocks this year are in hands of strong stockiest. The domestic demand which goes down by Mid Jan has picked up vigorously in the past 2 weeks after a cold wave in the entire North India which the main consumer of the winter time sesame demand. The temp are at 50 year peak and touching 0 degree in some places which is quite uncommon in India at this time of the year.

There is a huge cash flow problem due to this sudden rise and this is the reason why we are seeing sudden burst in prices and then a calm period when people buy.Many stockiest have already sold out and encashed their profit which is very strange even for us as these were the people who normally had stocks all they way till September.The situation is so critical here in India that even 10-20 FCL worth of buying can push up the market by 20-30$'s at any point of time. Once again corrections cannot be ruled out , without those the prices as they say will not make a base , but looking at the current situation even the stable prices should be considered as a correction and a buying
opportunity and it would be very optimistic to wait for big fall.

It is a fact that compared to previous years the long term business this year is negligible and it is virtually impossible to believe if someone says that they are covered for the entire season , that could only mean that they are cutting out on a huge volume and out of the market, otherwise the demand undercurrent is definitely there in the market. People still need to cover and that's a fact , what remains to be seen is till what levels can the market stretch itself before we hit the peak and till when are the buyers willing to wait.

We must also keep in mind that around May/June the farmers come back into the market to purchase seeds for resowing. Each farmer may buy only a few Kg's but keeping in mind that sowing is done in million of hectare and each hectare requires several Kg's it cumulates into a very big quantity.The farmers in Gujarat may find that easy as there is summer crop in April/May for about 10-15,000 Mt but in the U.P ,M.P and Rajasthan which are nowthe main sesame growing areas , more and more farmers are likely to try their hand on sesame growing and that could mean requirement of much muchmore resowing seeds.

Personally speaking we see a strong bottom like resistance at $ 2000-$2100 FOB for Hulled and on the higher levels @ $ 2700 which basically is Rupee 100/KG mark in local prices terms and Rs 100 is a lot of money for 1 Kg of Sesame in India.If we can cross that then if could go up another few $100's.

A small 1500 Mt Korean Tender for Crushing Quality is on the 11th Feb and a bigger one of about 5000 Mt (unconfirmed) later this month.