Curtain comes down on tobacco selling season

Farmers selling tobacco on the sales floor

Farmers selling tobacco on the sales floor

Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Flue-cured tobacco sales will now be conducted once a week as the 2017 marketing season is set to close early next month, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has said.

Early this month, TIMB reduced the selling days to only Tuesdays and Thursdays and starting today, sales would now be conducted on Wednesdays only. In a statement on Tuesday, the TIMB board said final clean-up sales will be held on August 11.

“TIMB advises all stakeholders that with effect from the week starting July 24, auction sales of flue cured tobacco will be conducted on Wednesdays every week. “Final clean up sales will be held on Friday August 11,” reads the statement.

Contract sales will continue due to the high volumes the floors are receiving. TIMB said the existing booking in system will continue unaltered and will include sales of mouldy bales.

“Late deliveries will need to be booked into the system before the sale to ensure that they are subjected to the Stop Order System. Buyer’s re-sales may be booked in as normal up to the close of the marketing season.

“All defective bales will be declared for the defect prior to sales. No appeals may be made on declared defective bales except for foreign matter,” said TIMB.

At least 206 million kilogrammes of tobacco is expected at the end of the 2017 marketing season up from the 201 million kilogrammes sold by farmers last year.

However, tobacco sales are six percent less than the volume sold during the corresponding period last year. Farmers have sold 180 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf worth $532 million compared to the 193 million kilogrammes worth $566 million last season.

The bulk of the tobacco has been sold through the contract floors with the highest price of $6 per kg coming from the contract floors.

Tobacco farmers sold 31 million kilogrammes worth $88 million through the auction system while 149 million kg worth $444 million have sold through the contract system.

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