Tobacco rakes in US$600m

ZIMBABWE has so far realised at least US$609 million from the sale of 167 million kilogrammes of tobacco since the start of the marketing season at the end of March.

The latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board’s show that China is the leading export market with 20,3 million kg valued at US$164 million having been sold to the Asian country.

According to a bulleting released by the TIMB last Friday: “…as of last week (Friday) on day 49 of trading, farmers have delivered more than 122 million kg earning US$356 million in the process.

“On the other hand 45 million kg were exported to 40 countries so far, generating US$253,67 million into the local economy.

The golden leaf is presently being exported to these countries at an average price of US$5,62 a kg compared to US$5,82 (in) the same period last year.”

Information from the TIMB shows that Indonesia has spent US$11,7 million purchasing the local crop while Belgium has so far bought tobacco worth US$11 million and Russia US$7 million.

Zimbabwe’s tobacco also attracts buyers from the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Holland, The Sudan and Tanzania.

Experts forecast the country could sell around 80 million kg this season, raking in over US$700 million.

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