Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has earned more than $700 million from 125,4 million kilogrammes of tobacco exported to different parts of the world since the beginning of the year.
Latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that during the comparable period last year, Zimbabwe had earned $709 million from 119,9 million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco exported at an average price of $5,91 per kilogramme.
TIMB says $704 million has so far been generated from the export of the golden leaf.
According to the data, the crop was being exported at an average price of $5,61 a kg.
Zimbabwe’s major consumer of the flue-cured golden leaf, China has so far spent $411,3 million importing 49,6 million kg at an average price of $8,30 per kg.
Belgium was on second position consuming 14,7 million kgs of tobacco valued $64 million averaging $4,36 a kg.
On third spot was South Africa, which has so far spent $35 million on 11,9 million kgs with an average price of $2,96 a kg.
Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were among the top five major consumers of Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco having so far imported 7,5 million kgs and 7,1 million kgs respectively.
Indonesia has spent $34,5 million importing tobacco from Zimbabwe with the crop averaging $4,57 a kg while the UAE has spent $19,8 million with the golden leaf averaging $2,78 a kg. More than 55 countries including Russia, Georgia, Holland, Jordan, Morocco, Botswana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Malawi, Egypt, Solomon Islands, United States of America, Hungary, France, Cambodia, the United Kingdom, Paraguay and Taiwan consume tobacco from Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, 69,092 growers have registered for the 2015/16 tobacco cropping season compared to 86,992 farmers who had registered in the corresponding period last year.
Under the Tobacco Marketing and Levy Act, growers are required to register with TIMB before growing the crop.