Tobacco exports rake in +$100m

Published: 07 February 2018
ZIMBABWE earned more than $100 million from exporting 14.2 million kilogrammes of tobacco across the world in January, official figures show.

Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that as at January 31, 2018, the country had earned $101.3 million while during the same period last year, Zimbabwe raked in $131.8 million from 21.4 million kg.

The golden leaf was last month exported at an average price of $7.11 a kg compared to $6.16 a kg during the corresponding period in 2017.

Last month, China imported 10.5 million kg valued at $88 million with an average price of $8.38 a kg.

A total of 24 countries across the world were importing tobacco from Zimbabwe as at January 31, 2018 while during the same period last year 29 nations consumed the golden leaf.

Throughout the year, over 60 countries import the golden leaf from Zimbabwe.

Tobacco is one of the major foreign currency earners in the country and has since 2009 been pivotal in providing liquidity following the adoption of a multicurrency system.

Last year, Zimbabwe earned $903 million from tobacco exports compared to $933.6 million realized in 2016.

Brazil, Jordan, Japan, the United States of America, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, India and Canada were some of the countries that imported tobacco from Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, TIMB has also revealed that 104 397 hectares have so far been planted under tobacco while during the same period last year 110 518 ha were under the crop.

The number of new tobacco growers has also improved by 124 percent to 33 307 compared to 14 841 during the comparable period in the 2016/17 season.

The marketing board has said this year's tobacco selling season was likely to delay due to the late onset of the rains as most of the crop was still in the fields.

Traditionally, during this time of the year, most of the farmers would be harvesting and curing their crop ahead of the marketing season.

Under normal circumstances the marketing season starts mid-February or early March.

Last year, the tobacco marketing season opened on March 15 with TIMB licensing three auction floors and 19 contract buyers.
- zimapers
Tags: Tobacco,


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