THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has said at total of 108,8 million kgs of tobacco valued at US$408 million have been sold since the marketing season started in February.
The amount generated so far represents a 49 percent increase over the same period last year when tobacco valued at US$273,8 million had gone through the auction floors on the 72nd day of the marketing season.
The total mass sold increased by 6,85% from 101,8 kg of the golden leaf in 2011 while prices averaged US$3,75 per kg.
Seasonal exports of tobacco as of May 24 2012 were 21,7 million kg with a value of US$83,3 million. The average price for exports was US$3,83 per kg.
China dominated the country’s export destinations followed by Indonesia, South Africa, Mauritius, Belgium, United Kingdom and Russia.
A total of 3,3 million kg of tobacco was sold to China raking in US$21,7 million while Indonesia and United Kingdom exports amounted to US$14 million and US$5,5 million respectively.
Treasury was expecting tobacco output to reach 150 million but the Economic Planning and Investment Promotion ministry said the target could be missed due to poor rainfall last year.
At least 10 tobacco buyers were participating in this year’s selling season.
The 2012 season has seen four auction flours taking in sales compared to last year when there were fewer players.
The agricultural sector is projected to grow by 11,6% this year underpinned by increased output in tobacco, maize, cotton, soya beans and poultry.