Farmers not drowning, just waving

| May 20, 2016

Flue-cured tobacco prices have shown ‘signs of buoyancy’ during the first 30 days of Zimbabwe’s 2016 marketing season, according to a story in The Financial Gazette.

But whether that buoyancy will be enough to keep farmers’ heads above water is possibly in question.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board reported that the average price had increased by 2.2 percent to US$2.82 per kg (61.2 million kg sold for US$172.4 million) during the first 30 days of the current sales season, from US$2.76 per kg (42.8 million kg sold for US$118.0 million) during the same period last year.

The fact that the rise in price is so modest is surprising given that, in April, the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) executive director Paul Zakaria said that this season’s crop was of the highest quality seen in recent years.

The highest contract price paid during the first 30 days was US$6.25 per kg, whereas the highest auction price was US$4.99 per kg.

The lowest price recorded was US$0.10 per kg.

The Bulawayo Chronicle reported earlier this year that the 2015 flue-cured marketing season had closed with growers having been paid an average of US$2.94 per kg for 191.9 million kg.

In 2014, growers had sold 209.1 million kg for an average price of US$3.17 per kg.

Category: Breaking News

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