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Tanganda defends turf, as Peru swamps markets

Tanganda estates

ZIMBABWE’S biggest tea producer, Tanganda Tea Company, says it tapped into a thinner global avocado market during the year to September 30, 2022, after Peruvian farmers swamped the markets on higher production.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Tanganda yesterday said that avocado prices tumbled 7% during the period, but it fended off the storms, pushing volumes up following an expansion programme.

Company chairperson Herbert Nkala, who presented the firm’s first financial statements since listing in February, said COVID-19 pandemic volatilities were still haunting European markets during the period, hitting at the hospitality industry’s capacity to absorb avocados.

But Tanganda, which saw inflation-adjusted revenue rise by 7,7% to $12,22 billion, will be accelerating its diversification plan, Nkala noted, as he shared results for the period with investors.

Tanganda’s profit after tax improved to $583 million during the review period, from a loss of $318 million in the previous year.

“Avocado fruit exports grew by 7% from 4 001 tonnes in the prior season to 4 268 tonnes,” Nkala said in a commentary to the financial statements.

“However, the average export selling price of US$0,44 per kg was 38% lower than US$0,71 per kg in the prior year as a result of the oversupply on the European market by Peru, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic that reduced volume uptake by the European hospitality sector. As the world moves out of the pandemic we expect that both export volumes and selling prices will firm up. Forty additional hectares (prior year — 43 hectares) of avocado plantation were established during the financial year bringing the total hectares under avocado to 497 hectares,” Nkala added.

“Bulk tea exports grew by 11% to 7 125 tonnes from the prior season’s 6 392 tonnes. This was despite tea production volumes of 8 670 tonnes being 6% lower than prior year’s 9 179 tonnes due to the dry weather patches experienced during the agricultural season. The average export selling price firmed up slightly to US$1,42 per kg from US$1,39 per kg in the previous year. Coffee exports of 96 tonnes were 14% above the  84 tonnes achieved in the prior year.

“Average export selling price of US$6,56 per kg remained slightly firmer than prior year price of US$6,50 per kg,” Nkala added.

He said macadamia nut production of 1 076 tonnes was nearly equal to last season owing to the dry weather experienced during the season.

The company added that the decline in exports of macadamia nuts was as a result of the market shifting to kernel from the traditional nut-in-shell market.

Given the global decline in the price of nuts, the company has identified alternative markets and strategies that include exploring value-addition options.

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