SEASONAL tobacco exports have raked in $543 million in the 10 months to October, with the bulk going to China according to latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).
During the same period last year, tobacco worth $534 million was sold.
In 2015, seasonal exports increased to 103,9 million kg at an average price of $5,22 compared to last year’s 97,7 million kg at an average price of $5,47 per kg.
According to statistics from the TIMB, of the total exports of 103 898 188kg, nearly a third (32 312 295kg) of the golden leaf had been shipped to China.
The value of the crop exported to China was $266 593 852 at an average price of $8,25 per kg. Belgium was the second highest buyer, purchasing 14 066 555kg of the golden leaf valued at $61 434 415. The average price was $4,37.
South Africa was the third after buying 10 804 337kg tobacco, worth $32 136 690 at an average price of $2,97 per kg.
During the same period last year, China was leading after buying 27 162 225 kg valued at $229 644 953. The average price was at $8,45, while Belgium bought 22 662 780kg valued at $104 410 725. The average price was at $4,61 and South Africa purchased
11 280 364kg valued at $44 872 650.
Meanwhile, interest in the golden leaf seems to be waning as 62 114 growers have registered for 2015/16 season compared to 82 624 growers who had registered the same period last year. New registration for 2015/16 was now at 8 336 as compared to 16 008 last year.
Tobacco has become the crop of choice among farmers due to better returns.
This has seen most farmers switching from traditional crops such as maize and cotton to the golden leaf over the past three years.Newsday