Tobacco deliveries near another record

Source: Tobacco deliveries near another record | The Sunday Mail 18 AUG, 2019

Tobacco deliveries near another record

Carren Mushonga

THE 2019 tobacco deliveries have so far hit 249 million kilogrammess, which is the second highest since 1980; and with farmers still bringing the crop, there are high expectations of surpassing last year’s record of 252 million kg, The Sunday Mail can reveal.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) public relations manager Mr Isheunesu Moyo said last week that the amount of tobacco delivered highlights good production.

“Deliveries so far have reached 249 million kg, placing it as second highest and highlighting a good season.

“Tobacco being sold this year was grown under harsh weather conditions characterised by late rains and prolonged dry spells, particularly when the crop was almost ready for harvesting,” he said.

According to TIMB figures as of last week, there was an increase in tobacco deliveries compared to the crop sold during the same period last year.

Day 99 statistics indicate that 249,169,478 kg had been delivered compared to last year’s 248,701,600 kg.

However, prices remain subdued with the crop, this season, having fetched $502 million compared to $725 million in the comparative period last year.

“Tobacco prices are pegged at an average $2 per kg which is slightly lower than an average of $2.92 per kg of last year, therefore, there has been a 30 percent decline in tobacco sales,” according to the TIMB.

The latest statistics also show that higher volumes of the golden leaf were sold through the contract floors pegged at 217,085,020 kgs with the auction floors accounting for 32,084,458 kgs.

Tobacco has earned a strategic position in the Zimbabwean economy because of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product and foreign currency earnings.

The crop is fast becoming an attractive source of livelihood for many Zimbabwean farmers with more than 3 million people benefiting from the tobacco industry.