By Livingstone Marufu
Tobacco farmers have grossed $515,1 million from 177,8 million kilogrammes that have been delivered 52 days into the 2018 marketing season, a gain of more than $95 million on revenues realised during the same period a year ago. During the same period in 2017, farmers earned $420,6 million after delivering 145,8 million kg.
According to Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) daily tobacco trade updates of the $515,1 million earned so far, contracted farmers have earned $440,4 million after a delivery of 151 million, with auction floors only catering for $74,7 million after delivering 26,7 million.
The average price of the auction floor is $2,79 per kg against $2,90 of contract farming.
Meanwhile, the overall average price has increased by 0,45 percent to $2,90/kg from last year’s $2,88.
“As far as tobacco export earnings are concerned, Zimbabwe has so far earned $153,6 million from 36,1 million kg of tobacco exported mainly to Indonesia and China since the beginning of 2018. Tobacco has been exported to 47 countries so far. China accounted for over 7,8 million kg valued at $50,1 million while Indonesia bought 4,6million kg valued at $21,4 million,” reads part of the TIMB’s latest weekly bulletin.
Belgium has this year bought 3,9 million kg valued at $11,7 million at an average price of $2,99 per kg.
South Africa has so far bought 4 million kg worth $10 million (average price of $2,50/kg), followed by Russia , which has spent $5,9 million on 1,8 million kg, while Sudan stands at 1,1 million worth $5,1 million.
Other buyers are from Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, Netherlands, Germany, Nigeria, Taiwan, Spain and Tanzania.
During the same period last year tobacco exports generated $231,7 million from a total of 49,7 million kg.
Tobacco is presently being exported to these countries at an average price of $4,24/kg compared to $4,66 (during) the same period last year.
Tobacco is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency earners followed by gold.
Last year tobacco exports topped $900 million, which was a marginal decrease from the $933 million the previous season.
Across the country, the area put under tobacco has slightly decreased from 110 518 hectares last year to 104 397ha.