World demand for sesame continues, but coronavirus
28 feb 2020

The Canarana-MT region, in the Araguaia Valley, has been increasing the area for sesame cultivation in the second harvest, planted after the soybean harvest, between February and March. Currently the municipality is the largest national producer of the grain. In the current crop, which is being sown, the forecast is that the sesame will reach the corn area, until then predominant in the second crop. One of the main world fairs that connects producers and buyers of sesame is Gulfood, the largest business platform for selling food to the Arab market, which took place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, between February 16 and 20, in its 25th edition. Entrepreneur Gustavo Rizzo, from AgroseedsComércio e Exportação, a sesame buying and exporting company in Canarana, participated in the fair.

According to Gustavo, world demand for grain remains high and all Brazilian production will be absorbed. For him, Canarana should plant between 80 and 100 thousand hectares of sesame in this harvest. In the Araguaia Valley, the area is expected to exceed 150 thousand and, in Mato Grosso, 300 thousand hectares, almost the totality of national production, representing about 2% of world production. “For the first time, sesame should touch corn as the most planted crop in the second harvest in Canarana,” said Rizzo. Despite confidence in demand to consume supply, the coronavirus, which has infected and killed thousands of people in China and other countries, has been blocking international trade in various products. The most populous country in the world is also the biggest consumer of sesame, with two million tons a year. China, however, produces half that, a million. The rest is imported and most of the Brazilian production goes to the Chinese market via other countries.

I believe in the demand, I believe that the culture will grow even more in the region of Canarana, but maybe this year it won't sell so fast", said Gustavo. According to the businessman, this is the fourth time that he participates in the fair and the first that has not closed any sales. "Because of the coronavirus, the market is at a standstill, uncertain, priceless, but they will have to buy and people can rest assured that sooner or later they will sell," he added. Despite China being the biggest buyer of Brazilian sesame, Gustavo has in the Arab countries the main export market for what he buys and processes. This year, the Ministry of Agriculture announced the opening of the Indian market. However, Rizzo said that there should not be much sales to India. “I talked to some Indians and for them what matters most is the price. For this reason, they end up importing a lower quality sesame, with less oil, from other countries. But it is a possibility, although small at the moment, ”he assured.

In addition to sesame, Gustavo believes in the growth of the planting of other types of pulses here in Brazil, such as beans, especially from the Araguaia Valley, a subject that was also widely discussed during the Dubai event.