via Companies import over $29m tobacco for blending | The Herald January 12, 2015
Local companies last year spent $29,3 million on tobacco imports that they use for blending with locally grown Virginia tobacco to make cigarettes. The companies imported about 8,1 million kilogrammes from nine countries at an average price of $3,64 per kg.
The tobacco imported during the period under review was however lower that the 14,3 million kg that was bought for $51,7 million at an average price of $3,60 per kg in 2013.
The bulk of the crop 6,5 million kg worth $21,4 million was imported from Zambia at an average price of $3,28 per kg, followed by 885 792 kg worth $4,4 million at $5,02 per kg from India, 257 035 kg worth $1,5 million at $5,89 per kg from Malawi, 99 000 kg valued at $711 810 at $7,19 per kg from Mozambique and 79 200 kg worth $237 600 at $3 per kg from Bangladesh.
Other imports were sourced from South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. In 2013 the bulk of the imports of 7,5 million worth $24,3 million were bought in Zambia at $3,22 per kg followed by 5,3 million kg valued at $22,3 million from Malawi, 1,2 million kg worth $3,9 million from India, 136 140 valued at $461 230 from South Africa and 99 000 kg worth $345 420 from China. Meanwhile the country last year grossed $722,5 million from exporting 135,5 million kg of Virginia tobacco at $5,70 per kg.
This was slightly lower than the $877,4 million that was received from the sale of 153,3 million kg at $5,72 per kg in 2013.
China again topped the exporters list after taking up 48 million kg at $8,37 per kg for $401,9 million followed by Belgium that bought 29, 7 million kg for $131,5 million at $4,01 per kg, South Africa that spent $52,1 million on 13 million kg at $4,01 per kg, UAE 9,2 million kg for $29,1 million at $3,16 per kg and Russia 4,7 million kg for $14,2 million at $2,98 per kg.
In 2013 China topped the exporters list with 60,3 million kg that it bought for $475,6 million at $7,88 per kg, followed by Belgium that took up 27,4 million kg for $137,3 million at $5 per kg, South Africa which paid $58,8 million for 17,3 million kg at 43,40 per kg, Sudan 6,2 million kg for $27,9 million at $4,46 per kg and UAE 5,6 million kg for $15,1 million at $2,68 per kg.
Tobacco is one of the country’s top foreign currency earners and accounts for 10,7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. It is one of the country’s top foreign currency earners and is expected to contribute the most to the 9 percent growth in agriculture last year.
It is also one of the key crops that are expected to anchor the 9 percent growth in agriculture this year within the framework of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.