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Tobacco sales, exports up despite drought
11/07/2016 00:00:00
by Reuters
 
 
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ZIMBABWEAN farmers sold 167 million kgs of the nation's top export earner tobacco, beating an initial forecast of 160 million kgs, official data showed on Monday.

An industry survey had shown in March that production and sales of tobacco would fall from 189 million kgs to 160 million kgs this year following a devastating drought that has left 4 million people facing hunger.

Statistics from industry regulator Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) showed that farmers had sold tobacco worth $497 million at the country's auctions and to official tobacco buyers since the selling season started in March.

During the same period last year, farmers sold 160 million kgs worth $474 million.

Zimbabwe's tobacco earns more than platinum and gold.

TIMB figures also showed that January-June exports of tobacco earned $254 million, with 64 percent of the sales going to China. During the same period in 2015, the southern African country earned $246 million from tobacco exports.

TIMB spokesman Isheunesu Moyo said the regulator was consulting buyers and farmers to decide the end of the selling season, which traditionally closes in the first week of August.

 



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