Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has so far realised $322 million from 59 million kilogrammes of tobacco exported to different parts of the world since January compared to 45,8 million kg sold in the same period last year.
During the comparable period in 2014, $211 million was spent on Zimbabwe flue-cured tobacco.
Latest data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), indicates the crop is presently being exported to 51 countries compared to 45 during the prior period.
At the moment China is leading as the major consumer of the golden leaf from Zimbabwe having so far imported 20,8 million kg valued at $176,8 million at an average price of $8,48 a kg.
In second position is South Africa, having so far spent $22,2 million importing 7,6 million kg of the golden leaf from Zimbabwe at an average price of $2,92 a kg.
TIMB indicated that Indonesia and Belgium have spent $20,5 million and $18,1 million on 4,9 million kg and 3,8 million kg of tobacco respectively.
Russia, which was on fifth position, has so far spent $12,1 million importing 3,1 million kg of Zimbabwean flue-cured tobacco.
Other countries that were presently consuming tobacco from Zimbabwe include Poland, Morocco, New Zealand, Holland, the United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, Paraguay, Zambia and Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya, Egypt and Malaysia.
The agriculture industry has over the years become one of the major economic mainstays driven by the tobacco sub-sector.
In 2014, Zimbabwe earned close to $1 billion through tobacco exports.
Meanwhile, seasonal sales for the 2015 marketing season have closed with sales totalling 191,9 million kg averaging $2,94/kg compared to 2014 sales, which were 209,1 million kg averaging $3,17 a kg after 98 days .
Auction sales for the 2015 marketing season closed at 46,5 million kg averaging $2,43 a kg compared to 50,5 million kg realised in 2014 averaging $2,70 a kg after 93 days.
Contract sales this year recorded 145,4 million kg at an average price of $3,11 a kg compared to 158,7 million kg realised in 2014 averaging $3,32 a kg after 98 days.