ZIMBABWE has earned US$95,1 million from the exportation of 23,2 million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco to date. As at June 1, China topped the export market with South Africa, which has, been the major exporter settling for second place.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board weekly report shows that China imported 3,9 million kg of the flue-cured tobacco worth US$26,5million at an average price of US$6,79 per kg, while South Africa came second importing 2,6 million kg worth US$8,5 million at an average price of US$3,22 per kg.
TIMB said Indonesia, United Kingdom and Mauritius were some of the major markets importing 2,6 million kg of the golden leaf valued at US$14 million, 2,3 million kg worth US$11,8 million and 2 million kg valued at US$3,6 million respectively.
Other countries consuming tobacco from Zimbabwe include Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Vietnam, Denmark, Bulgaria, Germany and Ireland.
In Africa, Zimbabwe exports its crop to Angola, Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, Botswana and Congo among other countries.
As at June 1, Japan was offering the highest price of US$10, 63 per kg followed by Hong Kong US$7,15 per kg and China US$6,79 per kg.
Netherlands and Philippines were both offering US$6,62 per kg.
Zimbabwe exports semi-processed tobacco to different destinations.
The crop is popular for its high quality and competitive flavour.
Meanwhile, tobacco deliveries at the auction floors have continued to decline.
Week 16 ended with seasonal sales of 110 million kg at an average price of US$3,75 per kg.
Auction and contract sales have contributed 44,4 million kg and 65,6 million kg respectively.
This is an increase from the 103,1 million kg sold through the auction and contract floors during the same period last season.
Tobacco prices have remained firm at the auction and contract market.
Growers at the auction floors are, however, concerned that prices have remained stagnant when the quality of the leaf is improving.
Normally tobacco prices are expected to increase as the quality of the leaf improves.
Zimbabwe expects 150 million kg to go under the hammer this season as the country moves towards regaining its status as one of the major tobacco producers in the world.