Home » Business » 315,8 MLN USD WORTH OF TOBACCO SOLD AT ZIMBABWEAN AUCTION SO FAR

HARARE, May 18 — A total of 107.9 million kilogrammes (107,900 tonnes) of tobacco worth 315.8 million US dollars has been sold at both auction and contract floors here since the opening of the 2015 Zimbabwe tobacco selling season, according to statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).

According to the daily statistics released by TIMB on Sunday, which is day 49 of the sale, tobacco is being sold at an average price of 2.92 USD per kg this year. During the comparable period in 2014, a total of 111.6 million kg of tobacco worth 358.1 million USD had been sold at an average price of 3.21 USD per kg.

According to the TIMB, tobacco is fetching the highest price of 6.25 per kg at the contract floors and 4.99 USD per kg at auction sales. The golden leaf is fetching its lowest price of 0.10 USD per kg at both auction and contract sales floor.

Poor prices dampened the opening of this season, with auction floors offering as little as 60 cents per kg, prompting protests by farmers which temporarily sales to be suspended. The farmers accused merchants of colluding to undervalue their tobacco, citing higher prices often offered at contract sales floors.

Merchants denied the allegations, insisting that they could not pay more for low quality tobacco. The crop this year is of low quality as it was produced under a challenging environment characterized by late and patchy rains.

Consequently, there were a lot of unsuccessful re-plantings, resulting in poor crop establishment and unevenness in growth. The most affected farms were in the A1 and communal sectors because of their lack of irrigation facilities.

Most of the A1 and communal farmers planted tobacco at the end of November, with more than 60 per cent of the dry land crop planted after the first week of December.

Zimbabwe expects 190 million kg of tobacco to be sold this year, compared with 216 million kg sold in 2014.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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