The curtain comes down on the 2012 tobacco selling season today with clean-up sales set for mid next month.
As of Tuesday this week, a total of 138,2 million kgs of the flue-cured crop valued at $509,3 million had gone under the hammer at the country’s four auction floors.
According to Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) figures, this year’s deliveries were 8,6% more than 127,2 million kgs valued at $349,6 that was sold in the same period last year.
The crop was sold at an average price of $3,68 per kg compared to $2,75 per kg on the same period last year.
The $509,3 million earned so far indicated a 46% increase from $349,6 million during the same period last year.
Close to 1,8 million bales had so far been sold compared to 1,6 million sold during the same period last year. To date, 80 437 bales have been rejected compared to 114 004 bales discarded at the same time last year.
Last week, TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said the decision to end the season was necessitated by dwindling deliveries.
“The TIMB board advises all stakeholders that the 2012 auction flue-cured tobacco marketing season will close on Friday July 27 2012 with final deliveries being accepted on July 26 2012,” he said.
He, however, said contract sales would continue until further notice.
“Nonetheless, contracted growers are advised to finalise the grading and marketing of their tobacco,” Matibiri said.
Tobacco deliveries for the 2012 auction season surpassed the revised target of 133 million kgs two weeks before the close of the marketing season.
The initial output target of 180 million kgs was revised downwards early this year following a decline in the planted hectarage caused by lack of funding.