Tobacco farmers have grossed $25,8 million from 8,9 million kg of the golden leaf delivered, nine days into the 2018 marketing season.
In 2017, farmers had delivered 10,4 million kilogrammes worth $26,6 million by this time.
Reads part of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board report: “Despite farmers having delivered more tobacco during the same period, tobacco farmers have earned more money this year as they have earned $2,88 per kg against $2,55/kg.”
Contractors have delivered over seven million kg earning $21 million in the process, while the auction floors have received 1,9 million kg worth $4,6 million.
Contracted farmers sold their tobacco for an average price of $3,01/kg against $2,42/kg on auction floors.
So far, Zimbabwe has earned $113,1 million from 25,2 million kilogrammes of tobacco exported mainly to Indonesia and China since the beginning of 2018.
Tobacco has been exported to 39 countries.
TIMB’s latest weekly bulletin shows that China accounted for over 6,9 million kg valued at $47,02 million while Indonesia bought three million kg for $14,6 million.
However, the tobacco export proceeds are $80 million behind last year’s exports for the same period.
With an estimated 350 million smokers, China has been spending over $200 million per annum on Zimbabwean tobacco.
During the same period last year tobacco exports generated $193 million from 39,1 million kg.
The golden leaf is presently being exported to these countries at an average price of US$4,48/kg compared to $4,93 (during) the same period last year. Belgium has bought 3 million kg for $8,3 million at an average price of $2,69 per kg.
South Africa has so far bought 2,3 million kg worth $6,7 million (average price of $2,83/kg), followed by Russia , which has spent $4,4 million on 1,5 million kg, while Sudan stands at 1,5 million worth $4,4 million.
Other buyers are from Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Nigeria, Taiwan, Spain and Tanzania.
Tobacco is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency earner followed by gold.
Last year tobacco exports topped $900 million, which was a marginal decrease from $933 million the previous season.
Across the country, the area put under tobacco has slightly decreased from 110 518 hectares last year to 104 397ha.
Mashonaland Central now has about 29 117 hectares under tobacco, while Mashonaland East and West have 34 956 ha and 18 674ha respectively.
Midlands, Masvingo and Matabeleland South have the least number of hectares under the golden leaf at 298ha, 48ha and 2ha, respectively.
According to the TIMB bulletin, the total number of new tobacco growers has gone up to 34 550 this season from 16 462 recorded in the same period last season.
Experts have forecast tobacco output of 200 million kg this year.