Ethiopian Exporters Eye China’s Growing Sesame Market 

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian sesame producers and exporters are keen to further penetrate the Chinese market amid growing demand among Chinese consumers.

China has recently been a major destination for Ethiopia’s sesame seed export. In the past decade, the East African nation reportedly shipped about 60 to 70% of its total sesame export to the Chinese market.

“For Ethiopia, the Chinese sesame market is a window to the global market,” said Sisay Asmare, President of Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association (EPOSPEA), speaking to the Xinhua news agency. 

It is also a “big deal for us because what we produce, especially sesame, goes to China,” Sisay said, describing the market as “very big” that could be further exploited by exporters.

Between 2018 to 2021, China imported close to 282,554 tons of Ethiopia’s sesame seed, making it the largest importer of the commodity, according to the Association.

“Our Humera and Wolega sesame seed brands are very well known throughout the Chinese market,” Sisay told Xinhua.

Ethiopia is not only one of the sesame growing and exporting countries in Africa, but also has high-quality sesame seed varieties suitable for a wide range of applications.

Apart from sesame, Ethiopian coffee is also penetrating China’s booming coffee market as the Asian country becomes its eighth largest importer of coffee over the last ten months.

China has imported 5,879.34 tons of Ethiopian coffee over the first ten months of the current fiscal year, enabling the East African nation to earn 30.4 million U.S. dollars, up by 31% from the same period in the last fiscal year, authorities say.