Nearly 200 million kg of flue-cured tobacco worth $585 million was sold during the 2015 season, which ended on Sept. 9, according to a story in The Herald.
“Tobacco growers sold 198.7 million kg of flue-cured tobacco worth $586 million during the 2015 marketing season,” said Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) public relations manager Ishemunyoro Moyo. “Earnings declined by 14 percent from the 215.8 million kg worth $684 million that had been sold during a corresponding period last year.”
According to latest TIMB statistics, the seasonal average price was $2.95 per kg compared to $3.17 per kg last year.
Zimbabwe has earned $211.9 million from tobacco sales thus far this year. China continues to be the leading importer after buying 19.3 million kg worth $166.7 million since the beginning of the marketing season. Zimbabwe exports Virginia tobacco to more than 50 countries on all but two continents.
South Africa ranks as the second-biggest importer of the golden leaf, after buying 3.5 million for $13.5 million at $3.77, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board. Mauritius, which bought 1.3 million kg worth $5.4 million at $4 per kg, ranks as the third-highest importer. Other top importers include Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Zimbabwe produced 216.2 million kg of Virginia tobacco in 2014.
Zimbabwe sold nearly 190 million kg during the 2013–2014 season, surpassing the target of 180 million kg, reports New Zimbabwe, quoting the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).
Auction and contract sales fetched a combined $604.7 million.
Although auction marketing is set to end soon, contract sales would continue until further notice, TIMB added.
In 2013, 166 million kg of tobacco worth $616 million was sold.
TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said he hoped the remaining crop to be sold under the contract system would push production figures for 2014 to 200 million kg.
If met, the target would be slightly lower than the country’s peak production of 231 million kg in 2001.
China has been the largest buyer of Zimbabwean tobacco over the past years.
Zimbabwe had sold 107 million kg of flue-cured tobacco for a total of $400 million by the end of the 55th day of sales, according to a story in the Zimbabwe Herald.
By the same stage of last season’s sales, 84 million kg of flue-cured had been sold for $315 million.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board was said to be confident that this season’s 170 million kg target would be surpassed.
And the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union vice president, Johnson Mapira, was quoted as saying that tobacco production was expected to continue to increase because of favourable farm prices. Tobacco was the only crop where farmers were guaranteed good prices and instant cash.
Mapira said the good payment method used in respect of tobacco sales meant that tobacco farmers did not have problems paying their workers. And he said that farmers were now using some of the proceeds from tobacco to support other projects.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has recorded close to $300 million from the sales of the golden leaf as more farmers deliver their crop to the country’s three auction floors, according to a story by Zimbabwe’s NewsDay.
TIMB shows that as of Wednesday (Day 44), revenue had reached $289 million from 77,787 million kg of tobacco sold. The sales comprised 46,619 million kg contract and 31,168 million kg auction sales.
On Friday, April 19, Tobacco Sales Floor handled 11.8m kg, followed by Boka Tobacco Auction Floors at 11.3m kg and Premier Tobacco Floor with 7.9 million kg.
On the day’s trade TSF bought tobacco at an average price of $3. 70 per kg, BTF at $3. 61 per kg and PTF at $3. 56 per kg.
At least 1,099,020 bales were accepted, while 48,954 bales had been rejected for various reasons. According to the TIMB weekly tobacco report, the current 2013 seasonal sales were 16 percent firmer than the prior year at the same time.
TIMB said to date, about 51,083 growers have delivered tobacco against 86,941 growers who have registered for 2013 season. During the same period last year about 64,293 had registered.
TIMB projects 170 million kg of the golden leaf to be brought to the auction floors this season.