Auction, contract floors sales reach $91m

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Thousands of small-scale farmers are losing an estimated $7 million to $10 million annually after being duped to sell their crop for a trifle to some unscrupulous tobacco merchants without their consent

BH24 Reporter
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s tobacco auction and contract floors have sold Virginia tobacco worth $90, 8 million to date, latest figures from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) show.

This means sales of Zimbabwe’s Virginia tobacco have declined by 3 percent from $93, 7 million in the prior comparable period.

Mass sold so far also declined by 6, 8 percent to 32, 9 million kilogrammes from 35, 3 million during the same period last year.

The 32, 9 million accounts for tobacco sold at both the auction and contract floors in the country since the marketing season opened at the end of last month, statistics from the industry regulator show.

Compared to previous years, tobacco production in Zimbabwe is now largely dominated by small-scale and communal farmers.

The average price for auction floors and contract farming stood at $2, 76 per kg.

The average price at the auction floors is $2, 61 per kg, while that at the contract floors is at $2, 79 per kg.

The highest price stood at $6, 22 per kg while the lowest was at $0, 10.

Rejected bales went down by 5, 4 percent to 31 944 from 33 773 recorded in the similar period last year.

Bales sold are now at 426 454, while 458 398 have been laid.

Zimbabwe largely exports the bulk of its tobacco to China with the rest going to South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Sudan and Russia.

Production of tobacco is expected to increase by nearly 6 percent to 200 million kg compared to 189 million kg in 2017.

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