Zimbabwe has so far exported tobacco worth $3,7 million as of Friday from the $25 million generated during the same period last year, as China slowed down its uptake of the country’s golden leaf, latest statistics have shown.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) showed that as of Friday, China was sixth on the table of top export destinations after importing 19 800kg of the golden leaf valued at $146 520. The average price was $7,43 per kg.
Greece was the top export destination after importing 329 000kg valued at $1 493 300. Korea, Vietnam, Germany and Indonesia were second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
During the same period last year, China imported 2 633 400kg of tobacco valued at $20 624 274. The average price was $7,83 per kg.
But TIMB chief executive officer, Andrew Matibiri told NewsDay yesterday, there was nothing to worry about, as a number of tobacco exporting companies opened yesterday after the holiday break.
“Exports to China were done in November and December. More exports will begin soon and figures up to the end of January will become normal,” he said.
TIMB statistics showed that registered growers were 81 172. Of that 14 231 were new growers. The number of new growers is up from the 9 071 recorded during the same period last year, as more farmers turn to the golden leaf, which has higher returns compared to other crops.
As at January 3, 91 805 hectares of land had been put under crop up from 87 755 hectares recorded during the same period last year.
Last year, more than half of the export receipts were from China. Out of the $933 653 445 generated from exports, $572 747 183 was from China. Tobacco is one of the country’s largest foreign currency earners.