Zimbabwe has earned $470 million from the sale of 161 million kilogrammes of tobacco since the 2017 selling season opened on March 15 this year, statistics that the industry regulator released show.
According to the figures that the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board released on day 63 of sales, the golden leaf is being sold at an average price of $2,92 per kg. During the comparable period last year, about 157 million kg of tobacco worth $461 million had been sold at an average price of $2,94 per kg.
TIMB public relations and communications manager Isheunesu Moyo said a consultative meeting of stakeholders would be held this week to come up with the date when sales could close this year. “Deliveries have gone down because we have passed the peak of the season. The consultative process for closing date and mop up sales will determine the close of the season,” he said.
Some industry officials however hinted on the possibility of closing the tobacco selling season at the end of July basing on declining deliveries.
Traditionally, the tobacco selling season runs for 90 days. Zimbabwe attained peak production of tobacco at 260 million kg in 1998, when the crop generated $582 million in export proceeds. Production of the crop has since rebounded from a low of 48,8 million kg in 2008.
Export destinations for Zimbabwean tobacco include Belgium, Korea, United Arab Emirates, China, Sudan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand and Russia. — New Ziana.