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ZIMBABWE

Tobacco export returns decrease

04 Jan 2019. Zimbabwe has reported a USD 12 million (EUR 10.5 million) drop in tobacco export earnings in 2018 to reach USD 892 million (EUR 784.16 million) compared to earnings in 2017, The Herald reported.

According to data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), of the 184.1 million kilogrammes of leaf exported in 2018, the average price of the crop was sold for USD 4.85 (EUR 4.26) per kg. These figures were slightly higher in 2017, according to the report. The crop generated USD 904 million (EUR 794.7 million) in earnings from the 182.4 million kg of crop exported across the world in 2017. Additionally, the crop was sold at a higher average price of USD 4.96 (EUR 4.36) per kg the previous year.

A total of 65 countries imported Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco, according to the report. In 2018, China, South Africa, Belgium, UAE and Indonesia were among the top five importers. Furthermore, latest data from TIMB indicated that China alone spent USD 449.7 million (395.3 EUR) importing 59.1 million kg of the golden leaf at an average price of USD 7.61 (EUR 6.69) a kg in 2018. In 2017, the Asian country imported 60.8 million kg of tobacco spending USD 479.3 million (EUR 421.36 million) at an average price of USD 7.88 (EUR 6.93) a kg.

Zimbabwe has become the major flue-cured tobacco producer in Africa and occupies fifth position in the world. Also, even though the number of registered tobacco growers rose by 30 per cent in the country, the tobacco exports decreased by roughly 1 per cent, according to The Herald.