Tobacco worth $36,5 million sold: TIMB

Source: Tobacco worth $36,5 million sold: TIMB – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 20, 2016

AT least 14,5 million kg of tobacco valued at $36,5 million had been sold by Friday last week, from 7,3 million kg worth $16,3 million recorded during the same period last year.


Latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) showed that tobacco was being sold for an average price of $2,53 per kg, compared to $2,23 per kg over the same period last year.

The total auction sales stood at 3,8 million kg valued at $7,3 million, while contract sales accounted for 10,6 million kg worth $29,2 million.

According to a TIMB report, the number of farmers registered as tobacco growers declined by 21% to 73 592, compared to 93 450 during the same period last year.

Of that, 9 333 were new growers, down from the 17 466 new tobacco farmers registered in 2015.

In 2010, production stood at 58,5 million kg before surging to 123,5 million kg in 2011, 132,5 million kg in 2012, 144 million kg in 2013 and 216 million kg in 2014 before dropping to 199 million kg last year.

However, the fall in tobacco output last year was attributed to poor rains and poor prices obtaining on the floors.

In 2009, flue-cured tobacco prices averaged $2,98 per kg before dropping slightly to $2,88 per kg in 2012 and further retreating to $2,73 per kg in 2011.

The average price of flue-cured tobacco closed the 2012 marketing season at $3,65 per kg and grew further to $3,67 per kg in 2013. In 2014, the average tobacco price dropped to $3,17 per kg before tumbling further to $2,93 per kg last season which has prompted some farmers to ditch the crop.

TIMB, said the number of tobacco growers plunged by 22% from 92 430 last season to 71 728 after farmers failed to raise money for inputs ostensibly due to poor prices.

The country is expected to record a 20% decline in tobacco output this year from 198 million kg produced in 2015.

Last year, tobacco valued at $580 million went under the hammer.