Tobacco exports rake in $190m
Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has so far generated about $190 million from 38 million kilogrammes of tobacco that have been exported to different parts of the world, latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show.
The golden leaf has been exported at an average price of $8,31 a kg.
The tobacco marketing board indicated in the report that during the same period last year, Zimbabwe exported 35,2 million kgs worth $221,4 million at an average price of $6,29 a kg.
At present, China, which is the country’s major importer of the golden leaf, is leading having since the beginning of the year imported 13,7 million kgs and spending $113,7 million at an average price of $8,31 a kg.
About 42 countries are importing the flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe with Belgium snatching the second spot, importing 4,1 million kgs of tobacco from Zimbabwe worth $6,3 million.
South Africa is on third spot having so far imported 2,5 million kgs worth $4,6 million while Indonesia is on fourth position importing 2,3 million kgs at $10,4 million.
Russia is on fifth position importing 2,2 million kgs of the flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe valued at $6,4 million. During the same period last year, 30 countries were importing tobacco from Zimbabwe.
This year’s tobacco selling season opened on March 15 with one million bales worth $2,4 million having gone under the hammer so far. As of Friday last week, 16 405 bales were laid at the auction and contract floors with 1 511 of that figure having been rejected. This means 14 894 bales were sold.
TIMB did not indicate the reasons for rejection but in the past among other reasons, bales at the auction floors have been rejected for overweight and moisture content above the tobacco marketing required standards.
The golden leaf is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners that has over the years been pivotal in improving liquidity supply in the economy.
Following the adoption of a multicurrency system in February 2009, the economy has been characterised by a tight liquidity situation. Brazil, Jordan, Japan, United States of America, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, India and Canada were some of the countries that imported tobacco from Zimbabwe.