Zimbabwe has managed to export 85.4m kg of Virginia tobacco worth USD 448.9m since the beginning of the 2014 year with the bulk of the tobacco destined for Belgium according to a report from the Herald.
Figures from the tobacco industry and Marketing Board show that Belgium overtook China and South Africa as the top importer of the country’s golden leaf, and has so far imported about 21.1m kg of tobacco worth USD 100.5m at an average price of USD 4.77 per kg. Apart from Belgium, the top five importers of the golden leaf included China which imported 21.05m kg worth USD 169.8m at USD 8.07 per kg followed by South Africa that bought 10.7m kg for USD 42.7m at USD 3.96 a kg, United Arab Emirates which spent USD 25.8m on 8.4m kg at USD 3.08 a kg and Russia that bought 2.9m kg for USD 10.5m kg at USD 3.54 per kg.
Tobacco production in the country continues to increase as the country aims to reclaim its place as one of the world’s major tobacco growing nations. During the just ended season a total of 216.2m kg were delivered to the floors, which was just 20.4m kg shy of the all-time high production figure of 236.6m kg.
Investment manager Imara said this improved revenue generation by the golden leaf was a positive and welcome development for the struggling Zimbabwean economy.
“The improvement in Zimbabwe’s tobacco sector has been positive for its economy and we see a recovery in the country’s agricultural sector as capable of helping it overcome the current economic malaise. We believe that companies such as TSL and BAT are well placed to benefit from growth in the Tobacco sector. However, more success stories such as these are required for the economy to rebound and set itself onto a sustainable recovery path”