By Alois Vinga
THE 2019 tobacco selling season kicked off in Harare Wednesday, with the highest selling price standing at US$4.50 per kilogramme, down from US$4.90 recorded on a similar day last year.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board corporate communications manager, Isheunesu Moyo confirmed the prices.
“The selling season took off today with the opening bidding price standing at US$6 but was sold at RTGS$ 4, 50 while the lowest sale was US$ 0.50 per kilogram. The highest price paid is lower than last year’s which began at USS$4.90 per kilogram,” he said.
The TIMB spokesperson said that activity at the sales floors was weaker when compared to last year but could not however immediately provide finer details on the cause of such trends as he was still awaiting information from officials on the ground.
The start of the marketing season was delayed this year because planting was held up by the late onset of rain and this year’s season will see three auction floors coming on board after recently being licenced for the 2019 sales season.
They are Tobacco Sales Floor, Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and Premier Tobacco Auction Floors.
Farmers registered to sell the golden leaf increased in 2019.
Flue-cured tobacco marketing season are standing at 169,772 recording a 46 percent increase as compared to the 2018 season.
In 2018, flue-cured tobacco deliveries reached a record high of 252 million kg.
However, tobacco market analysts predict that it will be unlikely that the increase in registrations will boost total quantities.
Tobacco experts believe that the increase in registrations has largely been brought by administrative changes which influenced the need for growers to obtain individual numbers so that they can benefit from the introduction of foreign currency incentives.