HARARE, July 12 (The Source) – Auction floor sales for the 2017 tobacco selling season declined by 3,23 percent to $508,56 million as at July 5, 2017, from $525,5 million recorded in the comparable period last year on lower sales volumes, statistics from Tobacco Marketing Board (TMB) show.
About 172,47 million kilogrammes of tobacco had been sold on the tobacco auction floors in the period under review, a 3,64 percent decline from 178,98 million kg of tobacco sold during the same period in 2016.
Prices are slightly higher at an average of $2,95/kg, relative to $2,94/kg in the comparable period last year.
The number of bales sold fell to 2,17 million from 2,23 million sold in the corresponding period last year while the bale rejection rate improved to 5,97 percent relative to 7,29 percent in the comparable period in 2016.
The golden leaf is Zimbabwe’s biggest export earner, earning the country a total of $266,6 million as at July 6, 2017 compared to $270,9 million earned in the comparable period last year.
In terms of exports, China is the largest buyer of the golden leaf, after the Asian country bought tobacco worth $114,58 million. Other primary markets are South Africa and Indonesia.
Zimbabwe anticipates sales of 202 million kg of tobacco during the 2016/17 selling season, lower than the peak of 260 million kilogrammes achieved in 1998.