Harare (New Ziana) – At least 122.5 million kilograms of tobacco worth US$367,9 million has been sold so far at auction and contract floors in the country since the selling season opened in March, statistics from the industry regulator show.
Tobacco is the country’s second largest foreign currency earner after gold. The golden leaf is arguably one of the success stories of agriculture in the post-land reform era.
In a trading update on day 33 of auction, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said sales had gone up 32, 1 percent from US$278.5 million recorded in the same period last year.
The average price for auction and contract floors stood at US$3 per kg, which is 0.77 percent higher than the US$2.98 of the 2022 marketing season.
The highest price stood at US$6.20 per kg while the lowest was at $0.10.
Rejected bales increased to 42 403 from 33 611 recorded in the same period last year.
Sales are being conducted in Harare as well as five decentralised centres in Karoi, Mvurwi, Bindura, Marondera and Rusape.
Tobacco production has been on the increase in the past few years, with farmers selling a record 212 million kg last year, up from 253 million kg in 2018.
Zimbabwe expects to produce 230 million kilograms of tobacco this year.