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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sesame Seed New Crop 2015

Hello Everyone ,

Im sure everyone is already aware , the new Indian Sesame crop is just around the corner.

Sowing this year has been great owing to some early monsoon rains and timely news of a low rainfall year. The farmers reacted in time and a lot of area was diverted to low water crops , sesame ofcourse being one of them.

The weather to a great extent has been favourable for a great harvest season , however a fairly long dry spell after Mid August all the way till now may affect the yields in certain areas where irrigations facilities are minimal. Having said that the overall increase in acreage might just negate any such losses and we should still see a huge crop ahead.

We’ve already witnessed the first signs of that as the markets have been discounted over 20-25% just on this news alone , the other factor ofcourse being the Rupee-USD ratios. The values have declined by almost 10% Y2Y basis.

Recently there was a conference on Sesame Seed in China where big players from all over the globe came and presented their views , just summarizing that for everyone around who was not there.

1:- China crop once again has been short , we’ve not seen a growth year in china for I think a decade now , the area for sesame seems to be reducing each year and some heavy rains led to further damage. The crop may be shorter by around 70,000-80,000 Mt compared to last year. However going by the business and consumption trends of china I’m not really worried about their crop size anymore, they are the biggest importers and consumers now and no matter what , they will go out and buy from wherever they find the quality and prices that suit them best for various uses.  A few thousand Metric tons  more or less I don’t think makes a difference to them as long as some country in the world has cargo to offer , weather the cargo comes from their own farm or from Latin America its not a big issue anymore as the trade now is much more organized.

2:- The Chinese imports

 2013                                      - 440,000 MT                     
 2014                                      - 570,000 MT
 2015(Mid June)                    - 430,000 MT

This means that they have good 6 months to cover the balance 140,000 + any shortfall they see in their crop + annual growth , which explains their slow buying pattern in the recent past. The carry over stocks are also fairly good for them to sustain till the end of the year where they can wait and watch the new African crop’s coming in and deciding to step in at the levels they feel comfortable from the origins that suits them best.

Similar numbers for Japan were also projected .
2013                                       - 140,000 MT           
2014                                       - 170,000 MT
2014( Mid June)                    -  95,000 MT (Approx )

Japan is also assumed to be fairly good on stocks and is not in a rush to enter the markets.

3:- Myanmar crop has always remained a mystery in terms of size and exports due to the border trade with China but rumors have it that their crop is also less than previous years due to heavy rainfall however those numbers are always debatable and its hard to predict what effect they will have on the global situation.

4:- African producing countries in East and West Africa all seems to have a good crop situation this year . Although only a few countries have had their sowing/harvest done so far the trend certainly points to a better crop in the coming season. There is no reason to believe that the sowing patterns will change due to softer prices as the sesame crop is now a fast selling product for the African farmers and still fetching them a fair price. Apart from some damage news from Sudan all other destinations should in my opinion have a similar or better crop than last year and there are carry over stocks in some countries as well.

5:- No confirmed news from South American destinations but the news says the prices there are soft as well with no rush or panic demand from anywhere.

6:- Coming to the Indian crop now.

    A:- Sowing is estimated to be 10-15% more than last year .This number is huge owing to the fact that it was actually less than normal last year due to a failed monsoon and in some cases total washout due to heavy flooding in certain areas.
A normal sowing area anyways gives us a huge crop but a 10-15% addition could result in what they say a “ Bumper Crop” .

    B:- Carry over stocks are not much , should be in the range of  25,000-30,000 MT max all areas put together . These are mostly the stocks with people who had stocked at high levels and are now stuck. The normal trend of stocking in India is that you invest say 20-25% of the money and get the balanced financed from the bankers when you stock the commodity in a warehouse. The prices for their stocks is now 25-30% lower and hence the stockiest are practically loosing on their entire deposit so all they can do it wait and play it slow hoping for a jump or at end they will just rotate their old stocks with new cargo and carry on.  That is why we are already seeing a disparity in prices with forwards being cheaper than the spot prices. The crop would have harvested early but some rains last week has pushed the arrival forward by a week or so, we expect tradable quantities to start arriving in various market yard by Mid of October.

   C:- Their was some issue with lesser rains in August and September and I do believe it may have stopped the “Bumper Crop” year from happening but a big crop non the less is surely on its way. The yields will be affected and crop size may reduce a little than expected but the quality should actually be better owing to lesser rain damaged crop. Once again hard to put a number on the crop that is still in the field but im assuming it should be atleast 15-20% more than last year. Everyone ofcourse has their own numbers for last year crop so you will have to do the maths.

Some Export Import Numbers :-

Year                                        Export
2010-11                                 - 398,441 MT 
2011-12                                 - 389,154 MT 
2012-13                                 - 299,482 MT
2013-14                                 - 257,443 MT
2014-15                                 - 375,656 MT

Year                                        Import
2010-11                                 -  8,727  MT
2011-12                                 -    609   MT
2012-13                                 - 38,050 MT
2013-14                                 - 72,928 MT
2014-15                                 - 34,767 MT

The last 2 years numbers are particularly very interesting for India , as you can see the export numbers have seen a steep increase in 2014-15 compared to the years before this even after India supposedly having a bad crop year. The import numbers have also seen a significant rise. India imported almost 100,000 MT that means we were almost among the top 5 worldwide importer along with the top exporting country.

India contributes roughly 30,000 Mt to the Korean Imports through the tender and we all know what big noise we Indian’s make about it. We actually imported more than what we contributed to the Korean Tender. With a huge crop expected this year it is highly unlikely India will be a importing destination this season , atleast not in a big way as some imports coming into India are based on customer requirement for African Hulled Seed which is being catered by some Huller's in India.
This means the African's will have a little more quantity in hand to sell elsewhere as India moves out of the importing equation.

Anyways I think the world market does’nt really move the way we in India think it does.
Last year we had a smaller crop and the volumes increased but markets still went down , 
the years before we had bigger crop yet the volumes decresead  but still the prices went up.

I guess the market movement is not really determined by what and how much you have to sell, its dependent more on when and how much the others want to buy. Buyer's market in simple words despite whatever we may think.

China having a short crop is no guarantee of markets moving up and similarly India having a huge crop is not a surety of prices going down. 

Markets we believe have already been discounted to a huge extent already in anticipation and in relation to all the above factors and more. The Currency movement being one of them.
We may still be a little off the bottom as the actual crop pressure is still to be seen and the buying/Stocking pattern worldwide still to unfold but with so much already factored in another steep fall from here looks remote now. Then there is always the Edible oil parity question , any oilseed getting cheaper weighs down on the mixing and blending for support and with the current prices of sesame it is almost at par or even lower than a few oilseeds already. 

There will surely be a great buying window for people who keep a watch on the market and then a rally back upwards for stability and parity with the global demand supply.We've seen a steady growth even when prices touched USD 3000 PMT and there is no reason to believe that demand or consumption will slow down at sub $2000 levels. The breach of $2000 /PMT for Hulled Sesame was really something i did not see coming so soon but it happened partly because of the currency changes and the huge supplies coming in from Africa. Looking at the world Import/Export numbers there seems to be no fall in consumption just change in buying destination and addition of newer suppling countries. 

My conclusion for the new crop once again would be to buy and sell at all levels rather than waiting for the bottom or peak’s. The policy of most buyers in the recent past had been spot buying and selling and looking at the market volatility and the economic conditions worldwide we believe its still the safest way to deal in commodities.  

The norms worldwide for food are becoming stricter by the day and I see no respite from this in the coming future , there are a lot of people in the trade who probably do not know anything beyond Sesame Seed , USD ????? CNF ?????.
They are least bothered or aware about what they are selling or even buying in some cases. Food Safety is here to stay. The more we interact as buyers/sellers the better it is for everyone involved.

 “Garbage In Garbage Out”

 I had pointed out a couple of years ago the birth of Double skin Bengal Hulled Sesame Seed and other varieties of Pearly White Chemically Bleached Hulled Sesame Seed made from Brown sesame etc and im sure a lot of the clients who fell for those varieties learnt a expensive lesson. Thankfully the markets got aware and with a bigger crop this year I am hopeful that such varieties will find fewer takers.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Goma Sesame. Sesamum indicum. ゴマ、胡麻。

Sesame is an annual, flowering plant which is cultivated for its seeds, which grow in pods. Sesame has been long known to mankind as an oilseed: it was first cultivated about 5,000 years ago in Egypt and the Sahara area. It was already know in Japan in the middle or later Jomon-period (2,500-300 BCE) and there are records of its cultivation for lamp oil in the Nara-period (710-784). In the ensuing Heian-period (794-1185) it was also used for medicinal purposes.

Nowadays, 99.9% of all sesame used in Japan is imported. Only a small amount is produced on Kikaijima, one of the Amami Islands belonging to Kagoshima prefecture. The highest production of sesame comes from Burma, India and China.

Sesame has a nutty flavor and is rich in oil. It comes in three forms: white, black and golden (this last one is said to have the best aroma, but is not readily available). White sesame seeds contain more oil than black ones, but black sesame has a somewhat stronger, nuttier flavor.

Sesame seeds are sold in four forms: (1) untoasted, (2) toasted, (3) toasted and roughly ground as well as (4) toasted and ground into a smooth paste.

One can toast sesame seeds oneself by heating a dry frying pan over low to medium heat, then put in the seeds and toast them in 1-2 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally so that all the seeds get heated through. Be careful not to overroast the sesame.

For grinding, in Japan a suribachi is used, a bowl-shaped ceramic mortar which has small grooves on the inside. For the grinding, a wooden pestle (surikogi) is necessary, so that the bowl is not damaged. Grind the seeds until they are flaky and aromatic. Ground sesame is only good fresh, so use it soon after grinding.

Goma (sesame seed) with mortar (suribachi) and pestle (surikogi)
[Sesame seeds (goma) with mortar (suribachi) and wooden pestle (surikogi)]

Sesame is used in Japan in the following ways:
  • Toasted but not ground (irigoma): black sesame seeds are sprinkled over rice or other dishes to add a color accent (furikake). Sesame seed is also an important ingredient in prepackaged furikake. Both black and white sesame seeds can be used on the outside of uramaki (inside-outside rolls, like the California roll).
  • Toasted and ground sesame is called surigoma in Japanese. Used in many recipes in the Japanese cuisine, starting with adding it to shira-ae (cooked vegetables dressed with tofu). As on the picture above, surigoma can also be used in the sauce for tonkatsu.
  • Sesame dressing (gomadare) is one of the most popular dressings for salads in Japan and can be found in all supermarkets.
  • Sesame paste (nerigoma) is also sold in supermarkets and can be used as a spread on bread, like peanut butter (but much more tasty!). 
  • Sesame oil (goma-abura). The best oil for cooking, thanks to its flavor, often blended as it is rather thick. It is indispensable in the oil mixture used for deep-frying tempura.
Sesame is high in proteins and since olden times, various health benefits have been ascribed to it.

"Goma" has also found its way into general culture. As grinding sesame seeds in a suribachi is hard work, the expression "goma-suri" was born to indicate "flattery," especially flattery of one's superior.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

BRC and IFS Certification for Hulled Sesame Seed

We are proud to share our BRC and IFS Certificates with everyone who cares and knows the importance of these in the food Industry.

However I must add that working tirelessly over the past 1 year to achieve the status 
we learnt a very important lesson, 
" Certification is not always a Guarantee of Quality its just a commitment for Improvement"

We are now the first and only Factory in India to have both BRC and IFS certification done together for Exclusive Hulling and Export of Hulled Sesame Seed from India , being in existence since 1996 it was a tough challenge for us to get our old Infrastructure in line with the very stringent bylaws and conditions of the certification body but with a total commitment and resolve we finally did manage to overcome the odds. 

We graciously Thank all our esteemed buyers who believed in us for all these years and stood by us in good times and bad and without whom this level would not have been possible. We promise to keep working harder in serving you with utmost integrity and honesty in the coming future and in return all we expect is your invaluable and indispensable oversight and experince towards betterment .

For those would would like to have their Supplier Questionnaire's updated and filled and if you need soft copies of the certificates and other documents please feel free to email me on It would be our pleasure to provide you with all the information.

We are participating in ANUGA , Cologne, Germany between 10-14th October 2015. 

We kindly request you to visit and grace us at our Booth no. F-036, Hall No. 11.3 , India Pavilion.