TOBACCO sales are down 44% at $292,8 million after 53 days of trade, compared to $523,5 million achieved last season, data from the industry regulator Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) shows.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Deliveries are down 12% at 157,7 million kg from 180,3 million kg delivered in the same period last year. The price being offered for the crop is also lower than last year at an average of $1,85 per kg, down from $2,87 per kg.
So far, the highest price fetched at the auction floors is $4,66 per kg, down from the $4,99 last year. Zimbabwe Tobacco Association chief executive Rodney Ambrose said despite the challenges, this year’s target of 220 million kg was still attainable.
“We still have at least one and half months to complete selling,” he said.
In 2018, the country produced a record 252 million kg of flue-cured tobacco, generating at least $1 billion in forex.