• May 23, 2024

Leaf Earnings up in Zimbabwe

 Leaf Earnings up in Zimbabwe
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Zimbabwean tobacco growers had earned $143 million from the sale of 41 million kg of flue-cured tobacco by Day 17 of this year’s marketing season—nearly 50 percent more than they pocketed after the same number of selling days last year, reports The Herald.

Contract floors accounted for 94 percent of the tobacco volumes after taking delivery of 38,432,613 kg while their auction counterparts stood at 6 percent with 2,583,334 kg, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB). 

Farmers earned $9.25 million and $134 million under the auction and contract system respectively. The average auction price surged 16 percent from $3.09 per kilogram on Day 1 to $3.58 by Day 17 while contract floors, which opened one day after the auctions, rose 13 percent, from $3.09 by Day 2 to $3.49 by Day 17.

The number of bale rejections was 38 percent lower than during the comparable 2023 period, a development that the TIMB attributes to the training of farmers on grading, presentation and bale handling, among other skills.

Despite the increases, some farmers expressed dissatisfaction with the current average price, which they believe should be higher, as supply is curtailed due to the El Nino drought.

In Brazil, the industry has been paying record prices due to a lower-than-expected Virginia tobacco harvest. According to the growers’ association Afubra, the average per-kilo price in Brazil was up by nearly 20 percent over that paid during the 2022-2023 marketing season.