India is the largest exporter of sesame seed in the world. India's average annual export during the period 2000 - 2011 was 0.23 million tonnes, the country occupies 26% share of the total sesame seed export in the world. Sudan is a second largest exporter of sesame seed followed by Ethiopia and Nigeria, their average export share is 17%, 16.5% and 13.35% respectively. China, Myanmar, Tanzania, Paraguay, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Pakistan and Netherlands are other major exporters and together occupies around 29% share in world sesame seed export.

Table 3: Major Sesame Seed Exporting Countries in the World (2000 - 2011)

Country Avg. Annual Export
(Million Tonnes)
Share (%) Growth (%)
India 0.232 26.35 6.33
Ethiopia 0.142 16.52 20.08
Sudan 0.134 15.63 -2.14
Nigeria 0.067 7.79 9.08
China 0.058 6.77 -10.30
Tanzania 0.035 4.07 17.14
Paraguay 0.028 3.26 23.26
Burkina Faso 0.024 2.84 31.90
Guatemala 0.020 2.37 -0.73
Netherlands 0.018 2.06 -4.41
Pakistan 0.014 1.59 4.02
Thailand 0.013 1.47 -5.13
Venezuela 0.012 1.37 8.99
Mexico 0.010 1.21 -6.75
Bolivia 0.009 1.01 23.05
Mozambique 0.008 0.98 51.72
Uganda 0.007 0.80 24.57
Egypt 0.005 0.59 21.50
Nicaragua 0.005 0.56 3.11

Annual growth in export of sesame seed from Ethiopia and Nigeria was 20% and 9% respectively. On the other hand, growth in export from china has been decline by 10.30% during the year 2000 - 2011.

Fig 5: Percent Share in World Export of Sesame Seed by Major Countries (2000 - 2011)

Indian Export of Sesame Seed: Annual average exports of sesame seed from India was 0.23 million tonnes. In the year 2011 India's sesame seed export touched an all - time high at 0.4 million tonnes. The Compounded Annual Growth (CAGR) in country's sesame seed export during the year 2000 - 2012 is 6.33%.

Fig 6: Annual Export of Sesame Seed from India

Major Importing Countries of Indian Sesame Seed: India's export destination of sesame seed is well spread across the world. Korea, Vietnam, United State of America (USA), China, Turkey, Egypt, Netherlands, Germany, Egypt and Mexico are the major importing countries of Indian sesame seed.

Table 4: Major Sesame Seed Export Destinations from India (2000 - 2012)

Country Avg. Annual Export
CAGR (%)
Korea 20447 17.0*
Viet Nam 20005 69.5**
USA 18782 5.3
China 17171 12.5
Other Asia, nes 15663 -2.1
Turkey 13064 4.1
Netherlands 12289 -1.6
Germany 10621 3.5
Egypt 10328 1.0
Greece 10241 2.9
Mexico 7051 -1.3
Malaysia 6452 4.3
Israel 5963 5.1
Poland 4755 5.9
Australia 4728 20.0
Guatemala 4367 -1.3
Italy 4000 3.1
Indonesia 3967 12.8
Russian Federation 3883 1.9
United Arab Emirates 3562 -0.8
Saudi Arabia 3339 11.1
Canada 3243 4.9
United Kingdom 3085 10.3
Romania 2852 8.2
Singapore 2351 -0.1
* CAGR during 2003 - 12, ** CAGR during 2004 - 12,

The countries mentioned in above table together import 92% of the total sesame seed exported from India. Netherlands, Gautemala and Maxico have shown negative growth of 1.6%, 1.3% and 1.3% respectively, whereas export growth in all other countries have been positive during 2000 - 2012.

Fig 7: Percent Share in India's Export of Sesame Seed to Top 10 Countries (2000 - 2012)

Fig 8: Trend in Export of India's Sesame Seed to Major Countries

The mentioned countries in the above graph account for 67% of the total export from India. Netherlands and Mexico has shown negative growth in import of sesame seed from India during the year 2000 - 2012. The overall growth in import of sesame seed in Netherlands itself has decreased by 3% during 2000 - 12 period. On the other hand, till the year 2011 the growth in import from India was positive (1.6%) but due to lesser import in the year 2012 the growth has fall into the negative zone. Other importing countries like Malaysia, Israel, Poland and Australia have shown positive growth of 4.3%, 5.13%, 5.85% and 20% respectively.

Form of Sesame Seed Exported from India: Mainly three types of sesame seed are exported from India, viz Natural, Hulled or dehusked and crushing quality sesame seed. The natural sesame seed are mainly white in colour and skins are not removed, hulled seed are processed from mainly white sesame. Black and brown seeds are mainly sold for crushing purpose.

Fig 9: Various Forms of Sesame Seed Exported from India (Volume)

Natural white and hulled varieties, both accounts 91% to the total, are the major forms of sesame seed exported from India. In terms of volume, on an average 1.18 - 1.20 lakh tonnes of hulled, 92000 - 95000 tonnes of natural white, 13500 - 14000 tonnes of brown, 4500 - 5000 tonnes of black and around 2500 tonnes of mixed (crush quality) sesame seeds are exported from India.

China (including Taiwan) is a largest importer of black and brown or mixed variety of sesame seeds from India. on an average the country import around 3700 - 4000 tonnes and 9200 - 9500 tonnes of black and brown sesame seeds respectively. India export almost 50% of both black and brown sesame seed to China. Vietnam, USA, Singapore, Brazil and Malaysia are the other major export destinations of Indian black and brown sesame seeds.

Vietnam is the largest importer of natural and hulled variety of sesame seeds from India. On an average the country import around 15000 - 17000 and 20000 - 21000 tonnes of hulled and natural white sesame seed respectively from India. In terms of percentage, Vietnam import 20% and 11% of the total India's export of natural and hulled sesame seed respectively.

Fig 10: Percent Export of Black Sesame Seed from India to Major Countries

Fig 11: Percent Export of Brown Sesame Seed from India to Major Countries

Fig 12: Percent Export of Hulled Sesame Seed from India to Major Countries

Fig 13: Percent Export of Natural Sesame Seeds from India to Major Countries

Flow of Export from India: Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are the major producer and export port of sesame seed from India. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu mainly export black, brown and mixes variety of sesame seed whereas Gujarat and Maharashtra mainly export Natural and hulled sesame seed. An average export of 2.33 lakh tonnes of sesame seed from India, Gujarat stands first followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Fig 13: Percent Export of Natural Sesame Seeds from India to Major Countries

Fig 14: State's Contribution in Export of Total Sesame Seed from India

Fig 15: State's Contribution in Export of Variety wise Sesame Seed from India

Andhra Pradesh export mainly black and brown seed in minor quantity of around 100 - 120 tonnes. The mode of sesame seeds export from India is mainly through sea, very minor quantity is exported by air.

Fig 16: Export Trend of Sesame Seed from India

The monthly trend of export of sesame seed from India shows that majority of the export takes place during the month of May & June. June mid or from the month of July till September mid to October beginning is typically lean season as processors and buyer wait for the new crop. The export activity starts from the November month onwards. However, the export may not exactly follow the trend as it largely depends on the demand from the overseas buyer.

India's Share in Major Importer's Basket: India is the major suppliers of sesame seeds to the USA, Russia, Netherlands, Vietnam, Germany and Greece. India’s share in total import of the major countries in indicated as % value.

Fig 17: Country wise Major Importing Sources of Sesame Seed