Tobacco maintains sales momentum

  • Mass sold at 101.67 million kgs, 35.67% ahead of last year
  • US$271.88 million pocketed to date, up 57.98% from last year
  • The average price is 16.72 % ahead of the 2020 period

HARARE – The golden leaf’s positive start to this year’s marketing season is showing no signs of abating as it continues to trade ahead of the previous year in both sales volume and value terms.

Data provided by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), shows that as of day 30 since the 2021 tobacco marketing season kicked off, 101.67 million kilograms have been sold at both auction and contract floors, which is 35.67 percent ahead of 74.94 million kgs sold over the same period in 2020.

Tobacco, which is one of Zimbabwe’s leading forex earners in a category that features gold and platinum group metals, has fetched US$271.88 million during the period under review, 57.98% percent ahead of US$172.09 earned during the same period last year.

This is pleasing as the country, according to the treasury, is targeting above 7 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2021 following two years of consecutive negative outturn underpinned by persistent droughts and the outbreak of COVID-19.

Due to the unfavourable weather patterns coupled with some structural issues including payment disagreements between the Central Bank and farmers, the 2020 tobacco deliveries at 184 million kgs missed government’s target whilst, total export receipts at US$713.8 million were down 5.7 percent from the 2019 figure of US$756.8 million.

Indications are that the golden leaf is on course to surpass the 2020 outturn in both the mass sold and value terms.

This season’s performance is also, from an analytical point of view, benefitting from the ongoing global surge in commodity prices amidst the global economic rebound from the COVID-19 induced slump.

The roll-out of vaccines has seen a pick up in global trade activities.

The average price of the crop since the start of the current season to date at US$2.67/kg has also scaled up 16.27 percent from US$2.3/kg same period last year.

A total of 1,361,676 bales have been sold so far, up 42.56% from 955,133 bales sold during the first 30 days of the 2020 marketing season.

However, the bales rank an average weight of 75kgs, down 4.27 percent from an average weight of 78 kgs in 2020.

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