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Tobacco exports up 31%

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TOBACCO exports have grown by 31,3% to 92,2 million kg with the bulk going to China, according to latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).

BY TARISAI MANDIZHA

In the same period last year exports were 70,2 million kg.

Latest statistics from TIMB showed that as of Friday tobacco worth $399 million had been exported, up 13,8% from $350,5 million recorded in the same period last year.

China took the bulk of the crop after importing 19,5 million kg of the golden leaf valued at $155,4 million. The average price was $7,98 per kg.

South Africa was the second top export destination after importing 13,4 million kg valued at $36,5 million. Belgium, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia were, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

During the same period last year, China imported 22 million kg of tobacco valued at $175,2 million. The average price was $7,96 per kg.

In the period under review, total deliveries as at September 8, 2017 were 188,5 million kg compared to 202,3 million kg in the prior season.

The 2017 tobacco marketing season closed on August 11 after 103 days. The government’s output forecast for the current season was 215 million kg. However, indications are that the crop may range between 185 million kg and 190 million kg, earning the country about $550 million.

Tobacco is one of the country’s largest foreign currency earners. Export destinations for Zimbabwe include Korea, Sudan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand and Egypt.

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