Tobacco earnings decline : Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE has since the beginning of the year earned $544,1 million from tobacco exports reflecting a decrease of 2,2 percent from the comparable period in 2017.

In a weekly bulletin for the period ended October 26, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicated that during the period under review, Zimbabwe exported 121 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf while last year $556,5 million was generated from 123,7 million kilogrammes exported.

Between January and October 26, the average price of tobacco remained unchanged at last year’s level of $4,50 a kilogramme. Of the 121 million kilogrammes so far exported to different parts of the world, China was leading, having imported 31,2 million kilogrammes worth $226,4 million at an average price of $7,25 a kilogramme.

On second spot was South Africa, which imported 21,6 million kilogrammes at an average price of $2,88 generating $62 million while Belgium has so far consumed 11,1 million kilogrammes spending $40,4 million at $3,68 a kilogramme .

Indonesia has also imported 11,1 million kilogrammes at $45,9 million at an average price of $4,13 while the United Arab Emirates has so far spent $21,4 million importing 10,5 million kilogrammes at an average price of $2,04 a kilogramme.

A total of 61 countries including the United Kingdom, China, Iran, France, Zambia, North Korea, Jordan, and Nigeria were importing the golden leaf from Zimbabwe while during the same period last year 64 nations imported the local tobacco.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency earners followed by gold. Last year tobacco exports topped $900 million, which was a marginal decrease from the $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.

Given its economic contribution, the Government has announced that starting this year, tobacco will now be covered under the Command Agriculture programme.

– Herald

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