Zimbabwe has so far exported 85,4 million kg of Virginia tobacco worth $448,9 million since the beginning of the year with the bulk of the tobacco destined for Belgium.
Most of the tobacco that has been exported is from last year. Latest figures from the tobacco industry and Marketing Board show that Belgium, which overtook China and South Africa as the top importer of the country’s golden leaf, has so far imported about 21,1 million kg of tobacco worth $100,5 million at an average price of $4,77 per kg.
Apart from Belgium, the top five importers of the golden leaf included China which imported 21,05 million kg worth $169,8 million at $8,07 per kg followed by South Africa that bought 10,7 million kg for $42,7 million at $3,96 a kg, United Arab Emirates which spent $25,8 million on 8,4 million kg at $3,08 a kg and Russia that bought 2,9 million kg for $10,5 million kg at $3,54 per kg.
During the same period last year China was leading the importers’ list after buying 20,04 million kg worth $169,07 million at $8,43 per kg followed by Belgium with 16,1 million worth $83,04 million at $5,13 a kg, South Africa 13,8 million kg worth $44,08 million at $3,18 million a kg, UAE that purchased 4,9 million kg for $12,7 million at $2,59 per kg and Indonesia that bought 4,1 million kg for $16,2 million at $3,94 per kg.
Zimbabwe’s tobacco crop is highly regarded by most importers all over the world.
Meanwhile about 75 580 growers have registered for 2015 season to date compared to about 71 579 who had registered by the same period last year.
The bulk 33 732 are communal farmers followed by Model A1 farmers who constitute 26 982, 6 271 Model A2 farmers and 5625 small scale commercial farmers.
In terms of provinces 24 455 are from Mashonaland West, 22 016 Mashonaland Central, 12 913 Mashonaland East, 12 488 Manicaland, 382 Midlands, 315 Masvingo and 11 Matebeleland.
Tobacco production in the country continues to increase as the country aims to reclaim its place as one of the world’s major tobacco growing nation.
During the just ended season a total of 216,2 million kg were delivered to the floors, which is just 20,4 million kg shy of the all time high production figure of 236,6 million kg.
The 216,2 million kg was however a 30 percent increase on the 2013 season’s total sales but 166,5 million kg although there was a 14 percent drop in average price to $3,17 per kg from $3,67 a kg.
Contracted tobacco contributed 165,5 million kg which is 76,5 percent of the total production, where-as the other (50,7 million kg) representing 23,5 percent came from auctioned tobacco.
In 2013 marketing season contractors contributed almost 68 percent of total production whilst auction tobacco raked in the remainder.