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Iran and North Korea look to co-operate on tobacco

| September 21, 2015

Iran and North Korea are exploring ways to enhance tobacco-industry co-operation between the two countries, according to a Mehr News Agency story.

The chairman of the Iran Tobacco Company, Mohammad Hossein Barkhordar, and the North Korean Ambassador to Tehran, Kang Sam-hyon, were said yesterday to have explored avenues for broadening mutual co-operation and joint investments in the industry.

The public relations office of Iran’s Tobacco Company reported that the two sides had highlighted their commonalities and good relations.

But the North Korean ambassador was said to have called for the expansion of economic co-operation mainly within the tobacco industry.

The two sides exchanged views on the production of tobacco, raw materials, cigarettes and cigars.

Malawi farmers derive no benefit from tobacco

| September 21, 2015

The Malawi government has held discussions with prospective tobacco buyers in a bid to ensure that farmers receive higher prices than they have been getting, according to a Malawi24 story.

This was disclosed by President Peter Mutharika during a press briefing at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre after his return from a trip to China.

Mutharika said the government would soon be forming co-operatives that would market some agricultural produce and help farmers obtain better prices.

Farmers have expressed dissatisfaction over the rise in rejection rates in the current tobacco selling season, which has led to poor sells.

The president said farmers had not benefited from the sale of the tobacco crop this season.

KT&G’s overseas sales increase dramatically

| September 21, 2015

KT&G’s overseas sales of cigarettes are this year expected to overtake its domestic sales, partly because of a strong export performance but also because of a huge fall in domestic sales at the start of this year following an 80 percent increase in prices, according to a story in The Korea Herald.

The company was said to have reported that its export sales had reached 500.2 billion, with sales of its cigarettes produced outside South Korea taking the total of its overseas sales to 532.1 billion.

KT&G’s overseas cigarette sales have risen dramatically, according to The Herald. They stood at 2.5 billion cigarettes in 1999, at 28.5 billion in 2005 and at 40.7 billion in 2012.

The South Korean tobacco manufacturer now sells cigarettes in more than 50 countries of Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe.

US flue-cured harvest estimate slips again

| September 21, 2015

The US Department of Agriculture’s September projection for tobacco production in the US has put flue-cured volume at 467 million pounds, six million pounds down on the estimate it made in August, and 19 percent down from that of last year, according to the latest issue of the Tobacco Farmer Newsletter compiled by Christopher E. Bickers.

The USDA’s projected Burley production, at 157 million pounds, was unchanged from the one it issued last month, which put it down by 26 percent on that of last year.

Anti-tobacco campaign attracts 12 million signatures

| September 21, 2015

Six key public health organizations and their allies have vowed to support a new draft of Thailand’s Tobacco Control Act, according to a story in The Nation.

They have called on the government and the National Legislative Assembly to push the law through so as to protect young people.

And they have called on the lawmakers to see through the ‘excuses and twisted facts’ put forward by tobacco companies; and to stop them from interfering in the legislative procedure.

At an academic conference in Chiang Mai province, the group said their campaign, via, had won attracted more than 12 million signatures as of September 15 and that its target for 15 million signatures would easily be achieved by the time deliberations on the new law were completed over the next six months.

The organizations behind the campaign include the Thai Public Health Club, the Mohanamai Network Foundation, and the Health Professional Association of Thailand.

Tobacco seed sales slip in Zimbabwe

| September 21, 2015

Zimbabwe might register a decline in the area under tobacco during the 2015-16 season because seed sales have declined by 30 percent from those of last year, according to a story in The Herald.

With only two weeks left before the end of the normal seed-selling period, the uptake is down by 28.7 percent from about 585,200 kg during the 2014-15 season to about 417,500 kg.

The seed sold so far would translate into 417,500 ha, down from the 585,200 ha grown to tobacco in 2014-15.

Meanwhile, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chief executive, Dr. Andrew Matibiri, just over 53,000 farmers have registered to grow tobacco in 2015-16, down from about 70,000 farmers in 2014-15.

During the 2014-15 season, most tobacco growers complained about low prices while the merchants argued the crop quality was poor.

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