HARARE, August 12 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s exports of tobacco are up more than 42 percent as at August 7 earning the country $341 million compared to $240 million last year, statistics from the industry regulator show.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said in the latest trading update that the country has so far sold 64 million kg of the crop at average price of $5,3 per kilogramme compared to 50.4 million kg at $4,5/kg last year.
China remains the top buyer of Zimbabwe’s golden leaf, taking up 21.8 million kg at $8,4/ kg for $183.9 million while neighbouring South Africa bought 8.1 million kg at an average price of $2,92 for $23,6 million.
Indonesia bought 4.9 million kg of the crop at $4,2/kg for $20,7 million.
Belgium, which last year was the top destination for Zimbabwean tobacco, bought 4.7 million kg of the golden leaf worth $22,9 million at an average price of $4,79/kg.
TIMB said imports were down 83 percent with $3,7 million worth of tobacco being imported from $22.8 million last year.
Zambia remains the main source of imports which are used for blending purposes, supplying 900,000 kg at an average price of $1,45/kg for $1,3 million.
India supplied 248,000 kg of tobacco at an average price of $4,6/kg for $1,1 million.
Seasonal sales for 2015 are at 196 million kg averaging $2,95/kg compared to 2014 sales which were 212.6 million kg averaging $3,17/kg after 108 days.
Auction sales for 2015 closed on July 15 with 46.7 million kg sold at $2,43/kg after 93 days compared to 50.7 million kg realized in 2014 averaging $2,69/kg.
Contract sales which are still ongoing have so far recorded sales of 149.3 million kg at $3,11/kg compared to 161.9 million kg in 2014 averaging $3,32/kg after 108 days.