China spends US$160m on Zim tobacco

via China spends US$160m on Zim tobacco | The Sunday Mail 13/03/2016

Livingstone Marufu
CHINA has shelled out more than US$163 million on Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco since January 2016, underscoring the Asian country’s continued interest in the local golden leaf.

This is according to the latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board’s bulletin.
Over the past few years, China – which has an estimated 350 million smokers – has spent more than US$200 million per annum on Zimbabwean tobacco.
Zimbabwe has earned US$216 million from 33 million kg of tobacco since the beginning of 2016, with China accounting for more than 20 million kg of the this.
Figures from TIMB indicate that 29 countries are buying Zimbabwe’s green gold.
“As of (a fortnight ago), 20,2 million kilogrammes were exported to China, generating US$163, 9 million into the local economy. The golden leaf is presently being exported to China at an average price of US$8,13 a kilogramme compared to US$7,21 (in) the same period last year,” reads part of the bulletin.
The average selling price to the 29 countries buying from Zimbabwe is US$6,44 per kg.
Belgium, Indonesia, South Africa and Russia round out the the top five countries importing tobacco from Zimbabwe.
Belgium has so far imported 4,3 million kg worth US$13,8 million (average price of US$9,18/kg), followed by South Africa with 1,67 million kg valued at US$8,7 million (US$5,27/kg).
Indonesia has spent US$9,2 million on 1,6 million kg, while Russia has imported 1,26 million kg worth US$3,77 million.
Other buyers are the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Holland, The Sudan and Tanzania.
Meanwhile, 70 531 farmers registered to grow tobacco in the 2015/2016 cropping season compared to 89 012 in 2014/15.
In a paper at the beginning of February, the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union said lack of confidence in prices and effects of drought had affected tobacco production this season.
“The current situation is that there’s a decline in the total area planted between the two years by significant four percent to 3 860 hectares.
“Lack of confidence in the market prices and poor rains are some of the reasons the planted area has gone down. This is witnessed by the drop in the number of registered growers for the 2015/16 season.”
This next selling and marketing season officially opens on March 31.