Analysts: Nigeria rakes in $750m from Sesame seeds yearly
July 19, 2019

As global sesame seed consumption is rising exponentially due to its health and nutritional benefits, Nigeria is generating over $750 million in revenues yearly from the product. This was disclosed in a report by analysts from Bismark Rewane-led Financial Derivative Companies (FDC). Specifically, they said Nigeria remained the largest producer of sesame seed in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) and fourth in the world. "Nigeria produces 550,000 metric tonnes (mt) of sesame seeds per year, generating over $750 million in revenue," the experts said. Despite the fact that Nigeria has the potential of increasing its production by 82 per cent to one million metric tonnes, analysts pointed out that sesame seed production in the country was constrained by quality and economies of scale.

The FDC report stated that total global production of sesame seeds in 2017 was estimated at 5.53 million tonnes, amounting to $4.15 billion. "Global output fell sharply by 9.5 per cent compared to 2016. Global price of sesame seeds increased in 2018 and is now trading at a range of $1,550- $1,650/tonne," the experts said. Countries such as Tanzania, Myanmar and India are top world’s producers of sesame seeds, while Tanzania, China and Sudan are global top consumers. Sesame seeds are being used for oil, flour, pastry garnishing, sushi and salad, among others. Currently, the nation produces 9.95 per cent of total global output and is ranked fourth largest in the world. Nigeria produces sesame for exports to Japan, China and Turkey and those countries process it as a major ingredient in cooking oil.

According to the report, export earnings from sesame seed in Nigeria was in excess of $200 million and it is produced nine states of the federation, mainly Jigawa, Benue, Nassarawa, Yobe, Kano, Gombe, Plateau, Katsina and Kogi. However, analysts noted that pastoral conflicts in major producing states were weighing on output of sesame seeds in the producing states. Meanwhile, Nigeria produces 0.11 per cent of global steel (less than two million metric tonnes), but imports five million tonnes yearly, according to analysts. They pointed out that efforts to revive the Nigerian steel industry were already under way, but that competition against increasingly low cost steel imports from China has formed the biggest threat confronting every potential investor.

The report stated that Nigeria was a fringe player in steel production with output of less than two million tonnes. It said: “The nation boosts 13 rolling mills, seven mini mills and two integrated steel companies. "Delta steel plant, which produced two metric tonnes (mts); and Ajaokute steel - 5.7mts are potential game changer for Nigeria." Major rolling mills in the countries are Katsina, Jos and Osogbo, while steel import demand was estimated at five million tonnes, amounting $3.3 billion. "Nigeria's total global production of steel in 2018 was 1.8billion tonnes, amounting $41.18trillion," analysist said. Steel is used for the construction of buildings, bridge, railway and automobile. World's top producers of steel include China, European Union, India, Japan and United States; while top consumers are China and EU.