Zimbabwe has raised a total of $408 million from the sale of 108,8 million kg of tobacco since the beginning of the marketing season in February.
According to figures from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB), the total value of the cash crop sold at the country auction floors during the first 72 days of the selling season, represent a 49% increase from $273,8 million that was sold during the same period last year.
The total mass sold increased by 6,85% from 101,8 kg of the golden leaf in 2011.
The statistics show that the average price for the golden leaf was $3,75 per kg.
A total of 1 333 728 bales were sold in the 72 days while 1 406 934 bales were laid.
Seasonal exports of tobacco as of May 24 2012 were 21,7 million kg with a value of $83,3 million.
The average price for exports was $3,83 per kg.
China dominated the country’s export destinations followed by Indonesia, South Africa, Mauritius, Belgium, United Kingdom and Russia.
A total of 3,3 million kg of tobacco was sold to the world’s second largest economy raking in $21,7 million.
Indonesia and United Kingdom exports amounted to $14 million and $5,5 million respectively.
Treasury was expecting tobacco output to reach 150 million while the Economic Planning and Investment Promotion ministry said the target could be missed due to poor rainfall last year.
At least 10 tobacco buyers were participating in this year’s selling season.
The 2012 season has four operational auction flours compared to last year when there were fewer players.
The agricultural sector is projected to grow by 11,6% this year underpinned by increased output in tobacco, maize, cotton, soya beans and poultry.
In his Budget presentation for 2012, Finance Tendai Biti minister, said the agricultural sector required at least $2 billion annually to take advantage of its potential.