HARARE – Zimbabwe has so far earned $152, 9 million from exporting 26, 2 million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco at an average price of $5, 82 per kg, latest figures from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) show.
This is comparatively less than the $189, 1 million realised from exports of 27 million kg at $7 per kg during the parallel period last year.
The country’s golden leaf has so far been purchased by 37 countries across the world.
The TIMB statistics show that China is still the leading buyer of Zimbabwean tobacco after importing 13, 5 million kg worth $112, 9 million at $8, 35 per kg.
During the same period last year, China had imported 19, 8 million kg of tobacco valued at $161 million.
South Africa has overtaken Belgium has as the second biggest buyer importing 1, 6 million kg worth $3, 7 million at $2, 26 per kg.
Belgium is in third position having taken up a total 1, 6 million kg of tobacco worth $2, 6 million at $1, 66 per kg.
Sudan is in fourth position having imported 1, 3 million kg of tobacco worth $3, 7 million at an average price of $2, 84 per kg.
In respect of the current crop, TIMB says the “unavailability of top dressing fertilizers on the market affecting production”.
Meanwhile, the figures from the tobacco sector regulator show that at least 82 110 farmers have so far registered to grow and sell tobacco during this cropping season, which is a 16 percent rise from 70 501 growers recorded during the comparable period last year.
Of the total number of registered growers, 38 798 are communal farmers.