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June 29, 2011

Zimbabwe: US$318m tobacco sold this season

A total of 117 million kilogrammes of flue cured tobacco worth US$318m have been sold since the tobacco floors opened in February.

Last year a total of 91 million kilogrammes worth US$272m had been sold during the same period, an increase of 27,73 percent.

The average price for this year is US$2,73 while that of last year was US$2,97.

Statistics from TIMB indicate that 1 514 820 bales have been laid at the four floors with 1 411 687 bales going under the hammer while 103 133 bales have been rejected this year.

On the other hand, 1 221 547 bales were laid during the same period last year with 1 115 757 bales going under the hammer while 105 790 bales were rejected.

The three auction floors have so far sold a total of 53 million kilogrammes with a value of US$128m at an average price of US$2,40.

To date they have laid 808 890 bales, sold 733 030 bales with 75 860 bales getting rejected.

On the contract side, a total of 64 million kilogrammes of tobacco with a value of US$190m have been sold. The average was US$2,99. This has seen 705 930 bales being laid with 678 657 bales getting sold while 27 273 bales were reje- cted.

Tobacco Sales Floor has sold 31 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$76m. TSF's average price was US$2,49. TSF has laid 469 247 bales, sold 425 540 bales and rejected 43 707 bales in the process.

Boka Tobacco Auction Floors have so far sold 14 million kilogrammes of flue cured tobacco with a value of US$31m at an average price of US$2,44. BTF has laid 213 099 bales, sold 189 700 bales and rejected 23 399 bales.

The last auction floor, Millennium Tobacco Floors, has sold the least quantity of 9 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$21m. Their average price was US$2,38.

MTF has laid 126 544 bales with 117 790 bales going under the hammer while 8 754 bales were rejected.

The start of this year's tobacco marketing season was characterised by a lot of congestion especially at TSF and BTF where farmers came very close to rioting. The situation has, however, improved as farmers, the buyers and the floor personnel got more organised.

Farmers coming to the floors without prior booking are getting served within reasonable time frames while the payments are also coming without delays at all floors.

The long queues that were a common feature at the three auction floors have also disappeared and farmers are reported to be bringing in high quality tobacco.

The country expects more than 170 million kilogrammes of tobacco to go under the hammer this season, all thanks to the influx of new growers ushered in by the land reform programme.

The Herald

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