More tobacco was sold in Zimbabwe on the opening day of this year’s auction sales than on the opening day of 2012’s auctions, but prices were lower and rejects were up, according to a story by Elita Chikwati for the Zimbabwe Herald.
The first day’s auctions saw 265,000 kg sold for US$784,000, up from 178,000 kg sold for $633,000 on the first day of 2012’s auctions.
However, prices were down by 16 per cent to US$2.96 per kg while rejects were increased by 27 per cent to 213 bales (out of 3,499 laid).
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chairperson, Monica Chinamasa, has advised tobacco growers to reduce losses by planting only manageable areas to tobacco and aiming to produce higher yields and quality.
“The dynamics and requirements of our major export markets are changing. We are aware that they now prefer clean leaf of good maturity and quality from the upper stalk,” she said.
She urged growers to invest in efficient curing facilities because while good crops were appearing in the fields, there was less good quality tobacco on the sales floors.
“Growers should also invest in grading and presentation facilities or skills,” she said. “About half of the bales rejected in 2012 were declared ‘mixed hands’. This compromises the price offered and the buyers’ final export product,” she said.
About 170 million kg of tobacco is expected to be sold during the 2013 season.
Category: Breaking News