Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has earned over $170 million since January from 32,5 million kilogrammes of tobacco that have so far been exported to different countries across the world, latest data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show.
The golden leaf has been exported at an average price of $8,35 a kg. TIMB indicated that during the same time last year, the country exported 33,6 million kgs worth $215,9 million at an average price of $6,41 a kg.
At present, the top five consumers of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe are China, Belgium, South Africa, Russia and South Korea.
China, the largest consumer of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe, has so far imported 13,5 million kgs worth $113,1 million at an average price of $8,35 a kg.
On second spot is Belgium having so far imported 3,5 million kgs worth $4,7 million at an average price of $1,35 a kg. South Africa was on third spot having so far imported two million kgs valued at $4 million averaging $1,99 a kg while Russia was on fourth position spending $5,8 million on two million kgs with an average price of $2,87 a kg.
South Korea has spent $6,7 million on 1,5 million kgs of tobacco averaging $4,57 per kg. TIMB also indicated that so far 40 countries the world over were importing the golden leaf from Zimbabwe while during the same period last year 30 countries imported the tobacco.
Tobacco is one of the country’s major foreign currency earners that has since 2009 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. Last year, Zimbabwe earned $933,6 million from 164,5 million kgs of tobacco exported around the world.
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.