Tanzania: Sesame Prices Pick Up As Season Set to Close

THE sesame seed prices have risen up in high speed as the season nears its end, despite starting at a low note due to coronavirus pandemic.

The season which normally starts in May and ends in July saw prices climb to an average of 1,745/-per kilogramme at major selling centres, from 1,472/-when the period started.

According to Tanzania Mercantile Exchange (TMX), most lucrative prices came from a secondary market at Nanyumbu district in Mtwara, at 2,024/-whereas the lowest was registered at Ulanga, Morogoro at 1,465/-as of last Tuesday.

Tanzania Pulses Network National Coordinator, Zirack Andrew, said the price change velocity seems not to align with global prices which only appreciated by 3.0 per cent.

"As we are nearing the end of sesame season, prices seems to have risen up in high speed... .[to register] a bigger appreciation in comparison to corresponding period last month," Mr Andrew told 'Daily News' yesterday.

The bouncing back was between 26 to 35 per cent on local prices, the rate of change seems not to align with global prices which only appreciated by 3.0 per cent, thanks to the addition of 50 US dollars per metric ton.

"The mismatch raised concern over what exactly was behind this price surge," Mr Andrew said. According to one sesame seeds exporting company, the price uptick was caused by speculative intentions. "That is, they buy in bulk at the moment of storage, hoping to sell them when the global prices are more reasonable," Mr Andrew said.

Though current international price was comparatively low, players are encouraged by the trend despite the fact that still China shows little appetite of fully opening up.

TMX yesterday announced another round of auction for Mtwara, 231,904kgs, Morogoro 50,200kgs and Singida 19,750kgs.

Compared to last year, the exchange data showed prices across various regions in the first auctions in May ranged between 1,900/-and 2,500/-, compared to around 3,000/-of the similar period last year.

However the prices later dropped to below 2,000/-. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) calculations on average price of sesame at the port of Dar es Salaam, freight on board (FOB), were around 1.5 US dollars per kilo.

The current global average price stands at 1.3 US dollars per kilo-nearly 20 per cent slump from 1.6 US dollars per kilo sold last year.

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