Zimbabwe rakes in $363m from tobacco exports

HARARE – Zimbabwe has so far exported 82,7 million kilograms of tobacco worth $363, 3 million, down  from $320, 3 million recorded in the same period last year,  statistics from the industry regulator shows.

Tobacco is the country’s single largest export commodity, ahead of platinum and gold.

In its 34th report for the week ending last Friday, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) said the exports continued to rise, increasing by $42, 9 million.

TIMB said Asian giant, China remained the country’s top tobacco destination, after buying 7, 5 million kg valued at $140, 4 million with at $8, 01 per kg.

Out of 58 buyers China, South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia were the regular major buyers of flue cured tobacco.

South Africa tops the list of buyers in Africa, buying 11 million kg of tobacco valued at $31, 5 million while Egypt was second after it imported 3, 7 million kg worth $12, 5 million.

The remainder of the crop went to Belgium, which imported 8, 6 million kg valued at $20, 6 million, the UAE which bought 5, 4 million kg for $10,5 million and Indonesia which bought 5, 4 million kg valued $23, 1 million.

Russia bought 3, 3 million kg of the tobacco valued at $10, 6 million and Korea 3, 1 million kg valued at $14, 4 million.

Meanwhile,  TIMB said at least 22 653 farmers have registered to grow tobacco for the first time in the 2017/18 summer cropping season with the bulk of them coming from Mashonaland Central province.

Many communal farmers have been abandoning other cash crops such as cotton for tobacco due to the organized marketing and favorable prices. – New Ziana