At least 135.42 million kilograms of tobacco worth US$326.30 million have been sold so far at auction and contract floors in the country since the selling season opened on April 29 this year, statistics from the industry regulator show.
In a trading update on day 51, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said the sales were 18.36 percent higher than that in the same period last year, which stood at US$275.69 million.
The average price at auction and contract floors was US$2.41 per kg, also higher than US$1.84 in the same period of last year.
Tobacco is the southern African nation’s second largest foreign currency earner after gold. The golden leaf is arguably one of the success stories of agriculture in the post-land reform era.
In 2019, the country sold 259 million kg of tobacco worth more than US$500 million, up from 253 million kg in 2018.