Prices down on Zimbabwe’s market

| June 22, 2016

After having suffered years of falling tobacco prices, Zimbabwe’s growers can allow themselves a modest celebration. At this stage of the season, it would seem that prices have fallen – but by only 0.01 percent from those of last year.

According to a story relayed by the TMA, the latest figures from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board show that growers have so far sold 140.7 million kg of leaf worth US$410.8 million, up nine percent in volume and eight percent in value compared to sales during the same period of last year.

So whereas at this stage of the season, the average price stands at US$2.92 per kg, at the same stage of last season it was US$2.95 per kg.

This fall in the average price follows a Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) report in May that said 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, which started on March 30, from US$2.76 per kg (42.8 million kg sold for US$118.0 million) during the same period of last year.

Even the 2.2 percent price rise seemed modest given that, in April, the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) executive director Paul Zakaria had said that this season’s crop was of the highest quality seen in recent years.

Growers have been urged to improve the quality of their tobacco so as to attract better prices.

According to the latest figures, 122,355 bales have been rejected so far this season due to poor quality and poor packaging, compared to the 145,056 bales that were rejected during the same period of last year.

Meanwhile the TIMB said that so far 26.8 million kg of tobacco had been sold for US$68.9 million at the auction floors, while 113.9 million kg had been sold for US$341.9 million by contract.

The top contract price stands at $6.25 per kg while the top auction price stands at US$4.99 per kg.

The lowest price that has been recorded so far is US$0.10 per kg.

Category: Breaking News

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