Tobacco rakes in US$47,4 million

TOBACCO auction floors for both free-funded and privately-contracted farmers have raked in a combined US$47, 4 million dollars in the first 10 days of the marketing season.

Free-funded tobacco opened on March 30, while contract floors started a day later with an opening price of US$4,20 per bale.

The latest Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) statistics sales indicated that auction floors crop prices are slightly higher compared to last year.

Contract floors’ highest tobacco value was at US$6,50 slightly above the 2020/21 price that was at US$6,30.

Free-funded auction floors ceiling price was US$4, 99, a slight increase from the beginning of sales when it was at US$4, 96.

The average price for both auction floors was US$2, 77, a positive direction from the US$2, 51 last year.

Speaking  to the Daily News on Sunday at the ongoing tobacco selling season at Tobacco Sales Floor in the capital last week, Mariam Mutumani a farmer from Guruve said the prices were better than last year.

“So far I have sold 500kg of tobacco and received my foreign currency on time this season and payment plans have improved.

“Am looking forward to selling more and with the good prices I am receiving,  I am looking forward to getting more money compared to last year,” she said.

Chaima Chaima, a farmer from Centenary also said buyers were offering better prices and was looking forward to investing in growing more tobacco next season.

“I must say the quality of tobacco I brought today is good  and is fetching good prices; from the way things are going, this selling season I am looking forward to growing more tobacco,” he said.

TIMB chief executive officer Meanwell Gudu told the Daily News recently that at the start of the selling season, prices  would be better due to reduced global production of tobacco.

“Brazil is likely to be 80 million kilogrammes short of their usual production level because of drought. This creates less competition for us.

“Due to anticipated reduced volumes in Zimbabwe this season, there will be more pressure on the demand side to take the crop, which should naturally increase prices upwards. This is likely to be experienced in the medium to filler grades. Some kind of hoarding of tobacco is likely to happen that may influence prices to be better because of disruptions in logistics caused by Covid-19,” he said.