Zimbabwe Exceeds 100m Kg In Tobacco Exports, Earning $529.2m In Revenue

6 months agoThu, 24 Aug 2023 07:21:04 GMT
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Zimbabwe Exceeds 100m Kg In Tobacco Exports, Earning $529.2m In Revenue

Zimbabwe has achieved a significant milestone in its tobacco exports, surpassing 100 million kilograms and generating $529.2 million in revenue. This increase in demand for the country’s tobacco, also known as the golden leaf, was reported by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB). Comparatively, during the same period last year, tobacco exports reached 93 million kilograms at an average price of $4.62 per kilogram.

According to Emmanuel Matsvaire, the acting CEO of TIMB, the Far East continues to be the primary destination for Zimbabwe’s tobacco. Currently, 105 million kilograms of tobacco have already been exported, with the Far East accounting for approximately 41% of the total exports. Matsvaire said:

Currently, 105 million kilogrammes of tobacco have been exported to date at an average price of US$5,04 per kg. The Far East remains the top destination for Zimbabwe tobacco with about 41% of current total exports being destined for the Far East.

Statistics reveal that in 2016, the Far East absorbed 52% of total exports, which decreased to 43% in 2022. China and Indonesia serve as the main markets for Zimbabwe’s tobacco, while the European Union and Africa also play significant roles, together accounting for 37% of total exports in 2022.

Zimbabwe is optimistic that this year’s tobacco exports will exceed the 199 million kilograms exported last year, buoyed by favourable rainfall across the country. The 2023 tobacco auction marketing season officially closed on July 31, 2023, but the contract floors and delivery sites, responsible for approximately 95% of the crop, will remain operational until all deliveries are completed.

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However, TIMB’s official statistics indicate that more farmers are turning to contract farming due to a lack of funding, leading to concerns about increasing debt burdens. This cycle of borrowing from tobacco companies and being tied to exclusive contracts has placed farmers in a precarious situation, with the threat of losing their properties or facing legal action. The challenges faced by farmers in servicing their loans could have adverse effects on the Zimbabwe tobacco industry’s production levels in the upcoming season, compounded by rising production costs.

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