HARARE, August 17 (The Source) – Zimbabwe has so far sold 197 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth $580 million, statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board on Wednesday show.
Contract sales were 161 million kg at an average price of $3,03/kg for $489 million. Auction sales stood at 35,8 million kg at an average price of $2,55/kg for $91 million.
Auction floor sales closed on August 5, but contract sales will continue until the end of this month. Zimbabwe remains on track to surpass last year’s figure of 198 million kg sold last year.
Mop-up sales will be conducted on August 23, a TIMB official told The Source.
Export earnings stood at $253,7 million.
Zimbabwe earned a total of $855 million from tobacco sales in 2015, nearly a third of its total exports earnings.
China is the largest importer so far, buying 20 million kg for $164 million but the average price was lower at $8,11/kg from $8,53/kg in the prior year.
South Africa nearly doubled its tobacco imports at nine million kg at an average price of $2,90/kg for a total of $26 million.
The seasonal average price was $2,94/kg, similar to last season.