• May 23, 2024

Leaf Traders Agree to Higher Floor Prices

 Leaf Traders Agree to Higher Floor Prices
Photo: PMFTC

Farmers and buyers have agreed on new floor prices for Philippine tobacco for the next two trading years, reports The Inquirer.

The floor price for Virginia tobacco grades will increase by PHP9.90 ($0.17) per kg, while that for burley and native tobacco will go up by PHP5.90 and PHP3.90 per kilo, respectively, according to the National Tobacco Administration (NTA).

“We aim to improve our industry by helping one another to balance the economic significance of tobacco as one of the highest contributors to the government coffer,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Savellano.

Tobacco farmers have been pushing for higher floor prices since earlier this year, citing an increase in imports and labor.

The NTA convenes the tripartite conference every two years to review and fix tobacco floor prices based on factors such as the world market, production costs and profit margins for farmers, dealers, manufacturers and exporters.

In 2022-2023, the floor prices of Virginia top grades were between PHP86.10 and PHP87.10 per kg. High grades of burley attracted PHP72.10 to PHP75.10 per kg, while the floor price for the native top grade was at PHP77.10 per kilo.

NTA data show that the tobacco industry contributed PHP149.7 billion in revenues to the government in 2020.

The sector provides livelihoods to at least 2.1 million people, including at least 430,000 farmers and farmworkers, the NTA said.