Tobacco exports rise: TIMB

Tobacco farmers are losing thousands of dollars from unscrupulous ‘middlemen’ who offer them low prices for their golden leaf outside the auction floors in the capital, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) says Zimbabwe has earned over $156, 7 million from 33,024,569 kilograms of tobacco this year compared to $87,6 million for the same period last year.

Statistics from TIMB for the week ending February 22 shows that the golden leaf has been exported at an average price of $4,75 a kg to 32 countries, compared to $4,68 from 30 countries last year.

TIMB indicated that during the same time last year, the country exported 18,735,008 kg valued $87,6 million at an average price of $4,68 a kg.

So far, South Africa is the largest consumer of tobacco with exports valued at $54,1 million compared to just over $4,9 million for the same period last year.

China is currently Zimbabwe’s second largest market for the gold leaf to despite having the highest price per kilogram at $8,80.

Last year, China was the top market with 46,2 million for Zimbabwe in exports at $6,76 per kg.

The top five consumers are rounded up by Mozambique ($8,05 million in exports), United Arab Emirates ($6,2 million) and Poland ($4,16 million).

The TIMB report also highlighted a marked increase in the number of new growers of the crop for the 2018/2019 season of 23 percent compared to the 2017/2018 season.

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