Charity Ruzvidzo Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’s tobacco export earnings have clocked $200 million from a sale of 28 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf since the beginning of the year, latest statistics indicate.
Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that a sum of $40 million was realised from a sale of 11 million kilogrammes for the same period last year.
By February 20 China, which has recently become a major consumer of flue cured tobacco from Zimbabwe, had maintained the top spot having so far spent $166,7 million on 19,3 million kilogrammes of tobacco at an average price of $8,63 per kg.
South Africa stood second after buying 2,1 million kilogrammes worth $8,1 million at an average price of $3,78 per kg.
Mauritius was on third position importing 1,3 million kilogrammes valued at $5,2 million at an average price of $3,98 per kg.
Russia and the United Arab Emirates completed the top five consumers on flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe, importing 926,800kg and 650,034kg respectively.
Meanwhile, the tobacco marketing season is scheduled to open next week.
Three auction floors will be operating this year, namely Tobacco Sales Floors, Premier Tobacco Auction Floors and Boka Auction Floors.
In the 2015 national budget, the government projected that 90,000 hectares would be put under tobacco with output projected at 220 million kilogrammes.
Last year, flue cured tobacco output amounted to 216 million kilogrammes up from 165,85 million kilogrammes in 2013.
Zimbabwe earned $773 from tobacco exports last year, a decline from $877 million earned during the same period in 2013.