Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zim earns $254m from tobacco exports

Zim earns $254m from tobacco exports

Business reporter

ZIMBABWE has earned $253,67 million from 45,1 million kilogrammes of tobacco exported mainly to China and SA since the beginning of 2016. Statistics from the latest Tobacco Industry Marketing Board’s (TIMB) bulletin show that China accounted for over 20,2 million kg valued at $164 million while SA bought 9 million kg for $26, 2 million.With an estimated 350 million smokers, China has been spending over $200 million per annum on Zimbabwean tobacco.

Part of the TIMB bulletin reads; “As of Tuesday day 61 of operation; 45,1 million kg had been exported to 40 countries, generating $253 million for the local economy.

“The golden leaf is presently being exported to these countries at an average price of $5,62 a kg compared to $5,82 from the same period last year,” reads part of the bulletin.

Indonesia has spent $11,7 million on 2,2 million kg and Belgium has bought 2,25million kg valued at $11,11 million.

Russia has purchased 2,1 million kg worth $7 million.

Other buyers include the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Sudan and Tanzania.

But the number of tobacco farmers for the 2015 /16 farming season declined to 80 728 from around 94 000 recorded in the previous season.

The Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union says the total area planted has declined by 4 percent.

“Lack of confidence in market prices and poor rains are some of the reasons the planted area has gone down. This was witnessed by the drop in the number of registered growers for the 2015 /16 season,” the union said.

TIMB is confident that deliveries of the golden leaf in the current marketing season will top 175 million kilogrammes (kg) from the initial target of 160 million kg, as deliveries from farmers have quickened in recent weeks.

TIMB communications manager Mr Isheunesu Moyo said the Board forecasts that deliveries will be more than anticipated.

More than 152 million kg of tobacco worth $446 million have been sold 61 days into the 2016 marketing season, representing a $28 million leap on revenues realised over the same period a year earlier.

Last year, tobacco farmers delivered only 117 million kg worth $418 million after 61 days of trading.

So far, the country has grossed $699 million from $664 million last year.


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