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Tobacco season ends


THE 2013 tobacco marketing season for flue-cured tobacco will end on Friday due to the decline in daily deliveries, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has announced.

Tarisai Mandizha

In a statement last week, TIMB said final deliveries would be accepted on Thursday July 4.

“All growers are advised to complete their grading and baling operations well before the final sales day. Contract sales will continue until further notice. Clean up sales will be held on Tuesday 6 August 2013,” reads the statement in part.

Figures availed by the TIMB show that tobacco sales for the last 93 days of the current marketing season increased by 20% to generate $573 million in revenue earnings compared to $477 million recorded during the same period last year.

During the period under review, a total of 155 million kg of tobacco has been sold, indicating a 20,54% surge from 128,6 million kg in 2012.

The golden leaf was being sold at the three participating auction floors, Tobacco Sales Floor, Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and Premier Tobacco Floors at an average price of $3, 70 per kg.

A total of 2 098 591 bales were laid while 1 988 647 were rejected for various reasons.

TIMB figures also showed that 239 069 kg of burley tobacco has generated $359 831.

The crop, which has attracted few farmers, was being sold at an average price of $1, 51 per kg.

Tobacco deliveries for the 2012 auction season surpassed the revised target of 133 million kg two weeks before the close of the marketing season.

The initial output target of 180 million kg was revised downwards early last year following a decline in the planted hectarage caused by lack of funding.

This year TIMB projects that at least 170 million kg of the golden leaf would be delivered at the country’s auction floors as the crop maintains its position as the second top foreign currency earner after mining.

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