Zimbabwe's tobacco export forecast in 2013 revised downward to 156.2 million kilograms from 170 million kilograms, driven by price fluctuations, but still up from 144 million kilograms in 2012

Allison Oesterle

Allison Oesterle

Sep 13, 2013 – AllAfrica

September 13, 2013 () – Zimbabwe's tobacco exports surged to US$331 million in August, a 13,5 percent rise compared to the same period last year, according to Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board data. Zimbabwe had projected exports of up to 170 million kg this year, surpassing 144 million kg worth of tobacco exports last year, but this has since been revised downwards to 156,2 million kg owing largely to price fluctuations.

The tobacco sector was the second-highest exporter after the mining industry. The average price per kg this year was US$4,82, compared to last year's US$4,89.

TIMB chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri attributed the increase in export earnings to the rise in the volume of exports.

"There is low supply of tobacco on the global market, a phenomenon that has induced high demand for our tobacco," he said.

TIMB said domestic production was rising as a result of the increase in the number of growers and tobacco hectarage.

Despite the imposition of higher excise duty and World Health Organisation concerns that have stoked fears of shrinking demand, tobacco has become an attractive crop for most Zimbabwean farmers owing to viable prices.

Major tobacco export destinations are China, South Africa, Japan, the US and other countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
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