Ethiopia eyes boost in sesame export to China amid growing demand

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Ethiopian sesame producers and exporters are interested in augmenting their share in the Chinese sesame market amid a growing demand from Chinese consumers.

Speaking to Xinhua, Haile Berhe, President of the Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association (EPOSPEA), said that export to China currently constitutes close to 70 percent of the east African country’s total export of the product to the global market.

“China’s sesame market has become the major destination for Ethiopian producers and exporters as the demand for Ethiopian produced sesame among Chinese buyers also increased,” Berhe said.

“With the growing trend of sesame export to China, it has become very difficult to imagine the export of sesame without the Chinese market in it,” Berhe said.

Sesame, together with coffee, considered as one of Ethiopia’s top export commodity as well as the backbone of Ethiopia’s economy.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources recently announced that sesame production during the current Ethiopian 2018-2019 fiscal year that started on July 9 to hit 350,000 tonnes.

The ministry further estimated the east African country’s revenue from the export of sesame to reach some 500 million U.S. dollars during the current fiscal year.

The EPOSPEA, which was established in 1998 with the objective of building the capacity of its more than 130 active members in the global market, also aspires to maintain and further strengthen its members’ approval among Chinese counterparts.

According to Berhe, the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), scheduled to be held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, China, would help Ethiopian exporters to maintain their stronghold in Chinese sesame market, eventually helping them to further penetrate the vast market.

“Our association, with more than 130 active members, highly promotes our members to participate in the CIIE as well as other trade fairs and expos so as to assess opportunities that are available in linking up with our Chinese counterparts,” he added.

The country, during the previous Ethiopian 2017-2018 fiscal year that ended on July 8, has already exported about 245 million U.S. dollars of goods to China, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade.

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