ZIMBABWE has since the beginning of the year exported 53.5 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth $248 million, latest figures from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show.
The golden leaf, which has been exported across the world, was sold at an average price of $4.63 a kilogramme.
During the same period last year, the country earned $259.5 million from 47.5 million kilogrammes that were exported at an average price of $5.46 a kilogramme.
Presently, the top five consumers of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe are China, Belgium, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
China, the major consumer of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe, has so far imported 13.8 million kilogrammes worth $114.6 million at an average price of $8.28 a kilogramme.
In second spot is Belgium having so far imported 5.1 million kilogrammes valued at $9 million at an average price of $1.76 a kilogramme.
South Africa was on third spot having so far consumed 4.8 million kilogrammes valued at $12.2 million averaging $2.56 a kilogramme while the United Arab Emirates was on fourth position spending $7.5 million on 3.2 million kilogrammes with an average price of $2.32 a kilogramme. Indonesia has spent $13 million on 2.9 million kilogrammes of tobacco averaging $4.49 per kilogramme.
Lebanon, India, Egypt, Taiwan, United States of America, Turkey, Vietnam, France, Algeria, Russia, Tunisia, Honduras, Serbia, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana were some of the countries importing flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe.
About 52 countries have since the beginning of the year been importing the golden leaf from Zimbabwe.
During the same period last year, 40 countries imported tobacco from Zimbabwe. Tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners. Since 2009, the tobacco sector has been pivotal in boosting liquidity in the economy.
In 2016, Zimbabwe generated $933.6 million from 164.5 million kilogrammes of tobacco sold around the globe.