Bulgaria’s National Association of Tobacco Growers has threatened to stage protests from next week unless sales of classical oriental tobacco start in earnest, according to a Novinite story.
Tsvetan Filev, chair of the association, said on Tuesday that growers wanted tobacco buying companies to start purchasing their ‘Basma-type’ tobacco by January 5.
Otherwise, he said, they would hold mass rallies in front of the companies’ headquarters, block arterial roads, and set fire to bales of tobacco on January 6.
Filev was said to have told Darik radio that so far buyers had bought only 300 tonnes of the 13,000 tonnes of Basma-type tobacco estimated to have been produced.
He said he was concerned that the delay in buying would reduce the tobacco’s quality, 70 per cent of which had been packed into bales.
All of the country’s production of Virginia and Burley tobacco was said to have been bought, along with 60 per cent of the Kaba Kulak oriental tobacco.
After several years of stability, the international market for classical oriental tobacco is in some difficulty. Each of the four countries that grow classical oriental tobacco – Turkey, Greece, the FYR Macedonia and Bulgaria – have this year produced bigger crops than were anticipated.
And, for a number of reasons, the major end-users of oriental tobacco are looking this year to reduce their purchases.
Such a situation is putting downward pressure on grower prices, and this is likely to cause delays to the start of purchasing.