Tobacco deliveries reach record high

tobacco_auction_zimHARARE - For the first time in almost a decade, Zimbabwes tobacco deliveries to auction floors could reach 100 million kgs, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) has said. (Pictured: A tobacco auction in Zimbabwe.)

In its latest bulletin, TIMB has raised its target to 93 million kgs, up from an earlier anticipated 77 million kgs and the figure could go higher as deliveries continue at the auction floors.

This years sales have already surpassed last years total of 56 million kg. A snap survey showed that five months after the official tobacco auctions started, auction floors were bustling with activity as farmers jostled to auction their tobacco before the end of the selling season.

The Zimbabwean visited two main auction floors, Boka and Tobacco Sales Floors, where trucks queuing to deliver the golden leaf are still the order of the day.

Tobacco remains one of the countrys major foreign currency earners contributing 26 percent to the Gross Domestic Product last year.

According to TIMB, contractors continue to dominate the market with weekly sales of over 4 million kgs while 1.3 million kgs are going under the hammer. Last week, the average selling price rose to US$2.73 per kg, up from US$2.67 per kg for the week ending July 2.

However, the average for this season is on a marginal fall, losing one cent to trade at US$2.97 per kg last week. To-date 92.2 million kg of tobacco have sold at an average price of US$2.97 per kg compared to 55.6 million kg that was sold at US$3.00 per kg during the same period last year.

At that rate, the 92.2 million-kg raked in US$273.8 million, compared to the US$167.3 million generated from the 55.6 million kg sold during the same period last year.

This year has seen a marked improvement in the sales of tobacco a trend seen as confidence in the multi- currency system that was introduced after the worthless Zimbabwean dollar had seen farmers failing to reap rewards for their efforts.

During the past eight years deliveries plummeted from about 165.6 million kg in 2002 to as low as 35 million kg in 2008 before rising to 56 million last year.

Post published in: Economy

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