ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwe tobacco farmers have so far earned nearly $430 million from the sale of 145,5 million kilogrammes (kg) of flue cured tobacco since the beginning of the current marketing season in March this year, official figures show.
Statistics released by the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) on Friday showed that the value and quantity of the golden leaf both slumped 14 percent and 7,57 percent respectively compared to prior year comparative.
The TIMB said 105,4 million kg of tobacco was sold at the contract floors while 40 million kg went under the hammer at the auction floors.
Of this total, about 12 million kg were sold at Boka Tobacco Auction Floors, 19 million kg at Tobacco Sales Floor and the remaining 8 million kg being bought at Premier Tobacco Floor.
In its summary of day 62 of the tobacco selling season, TIMB also said that the average price for the leaf stood at $2.94 a 7,4 percent slump from last year’s price of $ 3,18.
The TIMB also said that about 8,12 percent of the bales delivered so far were rejected, a 46 percent increase compared to the 5,5 percent rejected bales rejected prior period comparative.
Meanwhile, the country has so far exported 41, 64 million kilogrammes (kg) of tobacco worth $224, 06 million to 36 countries at an average price of $5, 87.
The TIMB says about 138 million (kg) of flue-cured tobacco worth $388,9 million have been sold to date, a seven percent decline from the 146 million kg sold the same period last year at $455 million.
A total of 96 489 growers have registered for 2015 season, while new registrations for this year are 17 729.
“At around the same time last month, the country’s tobacco exports stood at 35,3 million kg to the tune of $224,1 million, showing a gradual levelling off,” the tobacco board said.
In terms of the 2015 export figures, China is the lead importer of tobacco having purchased 19,8 million kg worth 169,2 million, a significant upturn from 2014 figures as China had imported 1,8 million kg of tobacco valued at $13,8 million during the same period last year.
TIMB figures show that Zimbabwe has sold its tobacco to 37 countries across the world.