Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has earned over $770 million from 159,4 million kilogrammes of tobacco that have so far been exported to different countries around the world, latest data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show.
The golden leaf has been exported at an average price of $4,84 a kg. TIMB indicated that during the same time last year, the country exported 166,1 million kg valued $824,9 million at an average price of $4,97 a kg.
At the moment, the top five consumers of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe are China, South Africa, Belgium, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
China, the biggest consumer of flue-cured golden leaf from Zimbabwe has so far spent $387,1 million on 51,1 million kg at an average price of $7,57 a kg.
On second position, in terms of consuming the golden leaf from Zimbabwe during the period under review is South Africa.
The neighbouring nation, has so far imported 27 million kg of tobacco valued $80,9 million at an average price of $2,99 a kg followed by Belgium, which has imported 14,7 million kg valued $49 million.
The European country imported flue-cured tobacco at an average price of $3,34 a kg.
Indonesia and UAE were on fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Indonesia has so far consumed 12,2 million kg of tobacco from Zimbabwe spending $51,3 million at an average price of $4,21 a kg while UAE has also imported 12,2 million kg of the golden leaf worth $27,9 million.
TIMB also indicated that since the beginning of the year 64 countries across the world have been buying the golden leaf from Zimbabwe while during the comparable period last year 63 countries bought the crop.
The golden leaf is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners that have since 2009 been pivotal in improving liquidity supply in the country, which economy has been characterised by a tight liquidity situation following the adoption of a multi-currency system.
In 2017, the country generated over $1 billion from tobacco exports.
Morocco, Kenya, Botswana, Egypt, Armenia, Holland, Jordan, Singapore, Greece, Romania, and Vietnam were some of the countries that imported tobacco from Zimbabwe.