ZIMBABWE’S tobacco export earnings closed 2018 at $892 million from 184,1 million kilogrammes exported to different parts of the world.
According to data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), last year’s crop was exported at an average price of $4,85 a kg. In 2017, the country earned $904 million from 182,4 million kg exported across the globe at an average price of $4,96 a kg.
Latest data from TIMB further indicates that China, which is the major consumer of the flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe, last year spent $449,7 million importing 59,1 million kg of the golden leaf at an average price of 7,61 a kg. In 2017, the Asian country imported 60,8 million kg of tobacco spending $479,3 million at an average price of $7,88 a kg.
Last year, South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia were among the top five consumers of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe. South Africa spent $100,8 million importing 32,2 million kg of tobacco at an average price of $3,13 a kg while in 2017 the neighbouring country spent $78,1 million on 24,2 million kg.
Belgium last year imported 17,6 million kg of tobacco worth $58,1 million at an average price of $3,30 a kg.
Another Asian country, UAE last year spent $32,9 million on 14,3 million kg with an average price of $2,29 a kg while Indonesia imported 12,9 million kg worth $54 million with the crop averaging 3,99 a kg. A total of 65 nations including Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, Malawi, Botswana, Kenya, New Zealand, Cambodia , Ukraine, Croatia, and the United Kingdom were importing Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco. In 2017, there were 66 countries consuming tobacco from Zimbabwe.
The golden leaf is one of the country’s major foreign currency earners and the Government has recognised the sector’s contribution to the economy as evidenced by the incentives the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has availed to boost the crop’s output. Last year, the Central Bank increased the tobacco input finance facility from $28 million last year to $70 million in 2018.
As at December 27, 2018 the number of registered tobacco growers stood at 167 538 compared to 112 999 during the comparable period in 2017.
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Publish date : 2019-01-03 11:48:12