Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
MORE than $200 million has been generated from 41,4 million kilogrammes of tobacco that Zimbabwe exported across the world at an average price of $4,86 a kg since the beginning of the year.
Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicate the latest record is comparatively less than the $227 million realised from exports of 36,8 million at $6,16 during the same period last year.
The country’s golden leaf has been exported to 45 countries while during the same period last year 34 imported the flue-cured tobacco.
As of Friday last week, TIMB indicated that China was the leading buyer of the Zimbabwean tobacco after importing 13,8 million kg worth $114,4 million at $8,29 per kg.
During the same period last year, China imported 20,2 million kg of tobacco valued at $163,9 million.
According to the latest data, Belgium was the second largest buyer importing 4,7 million kg worth $8 million at $1,68 a kg.
South Africa, which has been overtaken by Belgium was on third position having taken up 3,1 million kg of tobacco worth $5,9 million at $1,89 a kg.
Indonesia was among top five major importers of the flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe having so far spent $10,5 million on 2,3 million kg at $4,55 per kg.
Meanwhile, as at April 5, 2017 a total of 29,1 million kg had been delivered at the sales floors reflecting a 41 percent increase compared to the 20,6 million kg delivered during the same period last year.
“Auction floors received a total of six million kg, while contract floors received 23,1million kg. Twenty-one percent of the crop has been sold through auction floors while the remaining 79 percent has been sold through contract,” said TIMB.
It said the seasonal prices were 2,4 percent firmer than the 2016 seasonal average prices.
“Average price stands at $2,67 compared to $2,61 in 2016, $2,36 in 2015 and $2,59 in 2014. “Revenue received so far is $77,8million, which is 45 percent higher than the revenue received during the same period last year. Average auction price is at $2,63 per kg compared to $2,68 per kg at contract floors,” said the marketing board.
On growers registration update, TIMB said the number of new growers as at April 6, 2017 is significantly higher than the number of new growers registered during the same period prior year.