Ethiopia starts electronic trade for sesame

ethiopian_sesasmeADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Africa’s largest sesame exporter Ethiopia traded the seed through a new electronic system at its commodity exchange for the first time on Monday.

The government says trading sesame through the exchange will help small farmers get a better price for their seed and will also improve the quality of exported sesame.

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange opened in April last year and already trades agricultural commodities such as coffee, maize, wheat and corn.

Ethiopia aims to export more than 720,000 tonnes of oilseeds, pulses and spices in 2009 to earn some $715 million, a 94 percent increase on revenue the previous year, the Ethiopian Oil Seeds, Pulses and Spices Exporters Association has said.

Authorities could not immediately give a breakdown of sesame production, but it forms the vast majority of oilseed output.

Ethiopia reported oilseed shipments of 18,513 tonnes worth $24.6 million in the 30 days ending December 9th, according to most recent statistics available. That compared to 8,293 tons worth $10.6 million the previous month.