Turning over a new leaf

| January 30, 2018

Azerbaijan is increasing tobacco production as part of a plan to expand its economic base and lessen its dependence on oil, according to an AzerNews story.

Namig Shalbuzov, an expert at the Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication, said that tobacco production had been increased considerably in recent times.

He told AzerNews that while about 3,600 tons of tobacco had been produced in the country during 2016, this figure had increased by more than 44 percent to 5,200 tons last year.

The main reason for the increase, he said, had been down to the attention shown to the tobacco industry by the country’s leadership.

For instance, the purchasing price of tobacco had been increased significantly. In 2015, the price of ‘first class wet tobacco’ had been 0.16 manats ($0.90) per kg, and the price of ‘second class wet tobacco’ had been 0.08 manats per kg, while in 2016 these prices had risen to 0.25 manats and 0.15 manats per kg.

Shalbuzov said that last year, subsidies were given to tobacco producers and that support measures were expected to continue in the coming years.

In 2015, unmanufactured-tobacco exports from Azerbaijan were said to have been worth $7.4 million, while in 2016 they were worth $8 million.

Over the same period, however, the value of cigarette exports dropped from $2 million to $0.9 million.

But Shalbuzov said that Azerbaijan had a great opportunity to produce more cigarettes from local tobacco and boost exports.

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Category: Breaking News, Leaf

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