Zimbabwean tobacco auction sales down 22 percent, late rains blamed

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HARARE – Zimbabwean farmers have so far sold at least 64.8 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$191.8 million, statistics released by the industry regulator on day 25 of the auction showed Wednesday.

The tobacco is being sold at an average price of US$2.96 per kg.

According to the latest statistics, the volume of tobacco sold to date is 22 percent lower than the 83.5 million kg that had been sold during the comparable period in 2021.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board CEO Meanwell Gudu said deliveries of the golden leaf have not reached peak because some farmers are still harvesting.

“There are two factors: Mainly because the rainfall season was late which forced farmers to delay growing tobacco and we had to extend the destruction of tobacco stalks for planting time by 10 days.

“Secondly, when the rains came they became incessant. Then there was a mid-season drought before we received more rain later on. So most of the tobacco reverted to green so farmers are still harvesting.”

Gudu however said the quality of the tobacco being sold was good.

“That’s why the price is 12 percent firmer than last year,” he said. – ZimLive