Zimbabwe sells 187 mln kg of tobacco leaf at end of 2022 marketing season

  • World
  • Friday, 22 Jul 2022

HARARE, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe sold a total of 187 million kg of tobacco leaf valued at 569 million U.S. dollars at the close of the 2022 auction selling season Wednesday, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said Thursday.

This is a 4.92 percent decrease from the 196.7 million kg sold during the same period last year.

This year's volume is set to increase as contract sales are still ongoing while a number of farmers that sell through the auction floors still have significant volumes to deliver.

Despite the slight decline in output, tobacco leaf fetched much higher prices this year, with 569 million dollars in earnings, representing a 4.17 percent increase from last year's value of 546.1 million dollars.

Despite being grown under difficult conditions characterized by erratic rainfall, this year's crop fetched higher prices, with the seasonal price averaging above three dollars per kg compared to 2.78 dollars per kg last year.

Zimbabwe's 2022 auction selling season closed Wednesday while contract sales are continuing until further notice due to significant volumes that are still being received.

The TIMB said Thursday that even though auction sales had closed, it had opened a window for growers that still have tobacco to deliver to auction floors.

While it had slated the flue-cured auction mop-up sale to be conducted on Aug. 17, 2022, the TIMB said it will now conduct staggered interim clean-up sales on July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10 to cater to farmers who encountered delays in harvesting and preparing their leaf for the auction floors.

"TIMB wishes to advise all stakeholders that the official date of closure of auction floors for 2022 remains the 20th of July. However, growers will still be able to sell their tobacco. Any growers who still have auction tobacco should deliver at the auction floors of their choice. Once auction floors receive sufficient volumes, above 500 bales, TIMB will authorize for staggered interim clean-up sales," the TIMB said.

It said the final clean-up sale will be held on Aug. 17, 2022.

The bulk of Zimbabwe's tobacco leaf is sold through contract floors, with 95 percent of the crop grown under the contract system while only 5 percent of farmers self-finance tobacco leaf production.

Zimbabwe's 2022 tobacco auction selling season started on March 30, 2022.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's second foreign currency earner after gold, with China and South Africa being the major buyers of the golden leaf.

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