Archive for June, 2008

One journey ends, another begins

One journey ends, another begins

| June 28, 2008

With the container delivered to Beira, our journey has come to an end. Alex will return to Lilongwe with a load of grain, and I will fly back to the United States to prepare an article for Tobacco Reporter’s print issue about the logistics of tobacco in southern Africa. Our cargo, on the other hand, […]

Read More

Cash

Cash

| June 10, 2008

Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation continues to fascinate me. I’ve seen photos of people getting trays full of change after paying for a beer in a bar. The money depreciates so quickly that Zimbabweans must spend their earnings instantly on items that hold their value better than the does beleaguered currency—which is pretty much anything these days. Apparently, […]

Read More

Fees

Fees

| June 6, 2008

Even as the Mozambican police force is less corrupt than it was in the past, plenty of parties continue to demand “facilitation fees.” Prior to entering the port of Beira, truck drivers must clear their paperwork at a decrepit customs building just outside the gate. Some 20 young men are hanging around with no obvious […]

Read More

Back on the road again

Back on the road again

| June 5, 2008

Traffic is light and consists mostly of trucks. We also encounter several overloaded busses heading in the opposite direction. “Mozambicans and Malawians fleeing anti-immigrant violence in South Africa,” explains Alex. At times, he pulls over to chat with a fellow Transcom Sharaf driver. Because Alex’s truck is the newest and most modern in the fleet, […]

Read More

Who wants to be a billionaire?

Who wants to be a billionaire?

| June 4, 2008

The new Zimdollar is a note of 5 billion, not 50 billion as I wrote earlier. All the same, it means that Zimbabwe not only has the world’s best performing stockmarket, but also the greatest number of billionaires. Five billion Zimbabwe dollars equals US$2.50 today–probably half of that tomorrow. Have fun counting zeros when buying […]

Read More

Slow-motion slalom

Slow-motion slalom

| June 4, 2008

The first part of our journey progresses smoothly. Malawi’s roads appear to be in relatively good condition. I mentioned that to Guy Harvey upon arrival in Lilongwe, but he just grinned. “Just wait until you get to Mozambique,” he said. But the roads on the other side of the border are just as smooth. “This […]

Read More

Day-to-day

Day-to-day

| June 4, 2008

Trucker is a popular profession in Africa. Not only does it pay comparatively well, it also offers drivers an opportunity to run all sorts of businesses on the side, such as smuggling cigarettes, transporting passengers and diverting fuel. A representative of a Zimbabwean trucking company tells the story of one driver who didn’t bother to […]

Read More

Cobs and robbers

Cobs and robbers

| June 3, 2008

We encounter our first police stop at the outskirts of Lilongwe, but the officer waves us through. Malawi police are relatively relaxed, and those in Mozambique have gotten much better as the country’s economy improves. In the 1990s, with memories of the civil war still fresh, the police in Mozambique were notorious for shaking down […]

Read More

Alex

Alex

| June 2, 2008

Today, we will drive the first part of our journey, from Lilongwe to Tete, where we will spend the night near Mozambique Leaf Tobacco Co.’s leaf processing facility. Our cargo: 20 tons of Malawi burley from Alliance One, destined for Philip Morris Germany. To ensure their guest is comfortable, Transcom Sharaf has assigned me to […]

Read More

Diesel

Diesel

| June 2, 2008

In addition to accelerated vehicle wear and tear, transportation companies operating in Africa incur another expense that their counterparts in Europe and the United States seldom have to take into account—fuel theft by drivers. The driver will stop and sell small quantities of diesel to villagers, who siphon it out of the fuel tank into […]

Read More

Sponsor Ad

Sponsor Ad

Sponsor Ad

Web exclusives

Discussing challenges

Discussing challenges

Tobacco growers convene in Indonesia.

| April 2, 2018
The promise of heated tobacco

The promise of heated tobacco

Peter Nixon, PMI’s U.K. and Ireland MD, praises England’s progressive approach to new technologies.

| February 28, 2018
Celebrating cigars at Puro Sabor

Celebrating cigars at Puro Sabor

Five days of factory tours, farm visits, recreational activities and many, many cigars.

| February 5, 2018
Farmers concerned

Farmers concerned

The ITGA worries about slumping demand for leaf tobacco and a lack of alternative crops

| November 2, 2017
Their fair share

Their fair share

Tobacco growers deserve better

| November 1, 2017
Lease on life

Lease on life

Industry leaders respond to the FDA’s new attitude toward vapor products.

| October 1, 2017
The Vype Dossier

The Vype Dossier

Proving the reduced-risk potential of an e-cigarette

| October 1, 2017

Sponsor Ad

From the leaf lands

Grading system questioned

Grading system questioned

The grading system in Malawi, where yet again leaf tobacco prices are favoring buyers, is said to leave a lot to be desired.

| April 17, 2018
Prices dip to US$0.80 per kg

Prices dip to US$0.80 per kg

Malawi’s tobacco sales season got off to an awful start on Monday with some prices well below a dollar a kg, which far from reflected the work that had gone into producing the leaf.

| April 10, 2018
Prices increased in India

Prices increased in India

The prices paid to flue-cured tobacco growers are up in both Andhra Pradesh, where the selling season has just started, and in Karnataka, where it is about to close.

| April 10, 2018
Flue-cured prices increased

Flue-cured prices increased

By the end of the first nine days of sales on Zimbabwe’s 2018 flue-cured tobacco market, the average grower price was up sharply on that of the 2017 season.

| April 9, 2018
Cry for action on child labor

Cry for action on child labor

Human Rights Watch says that children in Zimbabwe are working under hazardous conditions on tobacco farms to earn money for the necessities of life.

| April 6, 2018
Tariff threats ‘troubling’

Tariff threats ‘troubling’

It is often the cry of businesses and industries that ‘change’ should be warmly embraced because it leads to new opportunities. But change trade tariffs and the reaction is different.

| April 5, 2018

Sponsor Ad

Sponsor Ad

Sponsor Ad