Changing consumption patterns and increasing health awareness, especially in European countries, is resulting in higher demand for sesame seeds. However, price fluctuations and allergies associated with the commodity are holding back the growth of sesame seeds. In 2016, Asia was the biggest importer of sesame seeds, followed by Europe and North America, while Africa has emerged as the largest exporter of sesame seeds, followed by Asia and South America. The nutritional characteristics of sesame seeds are especially attractive due to its vitamin, mineral, fiber, healthy fat and protein content. Cereal bars like Sesame Honey Energy Bars are high on demand in Europe.
Increasing demand for sesame based foods and rising health awareness on the same are forcing various sesame seed producing companies to introduce seeds with high yield and better weather tolerance. Four types of sesame seeds were introduced in India between 2001 and 2014 are G. Til-10 (Black seeded), Gujarat Til-4, G.Til-3 and Gujarat Til-3. In 2014, Humera Agricultural Research Center (HuARC) has been doing a research activity to generate a blight tolerant sesame seed variety named as Setit- 2.
The African countries are expected to dominate the sesame seed market both in terms of production and export, by the end of the forecast period, while the Asian imports are expected to increase during the forecast period. In 2016, Tanzania was the largest producer of sesame seeds with a production of 125858.2 metric ton and the market is expected to experience a market growth of more than 6% during the forecast period. Tanzania also remains one of the largest exporters of sesame seeds. China was the largest importer.