Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has earned close to $230 million from 37,4 million kilogrammes of tobacco exported since the beginning of the year.
Latest data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) shows that China was leading as the major consumer of the golden leaf from Zimbabwe having so far imported 20,2 million kg. During the comparable period last year 35 million kg of the golden leaf valued at $223 million was exported with China spending $168,3 million on 19,6 million kg.
The Asian country, which traditionally is the major consumer of Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco, has so far bought the golden leaf at an average price of $8,11 a kg.
South Africa is on second position having so far spent $17 million on 5,5 million kg at an average price of $3,05 a kg while during the same period last year the neighbouring country had spent $14,1 million on 4,2 million kg averaging $3,32 a kg.
Other countries on the top five importers’ list of the Zimbabwean golden leaf were Belgium, Indonesia, and Russia.
Belgium and Indonesia have so far spent $10 million and $10,2 million respectively importing Zimbabwe flue-cured tobacco.
With an average price $5,06 per kg, Belgium has imported two million kg of tobacco from Zimbabwe so far while Indonesia has imported $1,8 million kg at an average price of $5,63 a kg. Russia has so far imported 1,7 million kg of tobacco from Zimbabwe averaging $3,12 a kg.
Since the beginning of the year, 36 countries are importing tobacco from Zimbabwe.
Zambia, Seychelles, Botswana, Sudan, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany and Netherlands are some of the countries importing the tobacco from the country.
During the same period last year 33 nations imported the tobacco. As is the trend, it is hoped that by the end of the year over 50 countries would have joined the bandwagon of importing flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe.