Better times ahead

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) expects higher tobacco prices in Zimbabwe this year.

Farmers received lower prices for their crops last year due to the country switching from the U.S. dollar to local currency at a 1:1 rate. This led to grossly discounted prices for the tobacco, according to Andrew Matibiri, TIMB chief executive. The average price of tobacco was 31 percent lower last year than in 2018.

“Personally, I remain very positive that prices will be much better than they were last year, and the demand for Zimbabwean tobacco is still there,” said Matibiri. “Zimbabwean tobacco is a premium product and it is wanted by all cigarette manufacturers for inclusion in their blends.”

The opening date for this year’s tobacco marketing season has not been set, but deliveries are expected to start next month. Last year, deliveries reached 258 million kg. Lower output is projected this year due to reduced hectarage and fewer growers, but deliveries will not be down by more than 20 percent, according to TIMB.