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Zimbabwe's 2022 tobacco marketing season to end with higher prices

A sales floor employee takes records of tobacco crops on the opening day of Zimbabwe's tobacco auction season at Tobacco Sales Floor in Harare, Zimbabwe, on March 30, 2022. (Photo by Shaun Jusa/Xinhua)

Zimbabwe's 2022 tobacco marketing season is expected to end next Wednesday amid higher prices, industry regulator the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said Friday.

HARARE, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's 2022 tobacco marketing season is expected to end next Wednesday, industry regulator the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said Friday.

"The TIMB Board advises all stakeholders that the 2022 auction flue-cured (Virginia) tobacco marketing season will close on Wednesday 20 July 2022 with final deliveries being accepted on Tuesday 19 July 2022," the TIMB said in a statement.

"All growers who sell on auction floors are therefore advised to complete their grading and baling operations by Monday 18 July 2022 at the very latest," it said.

It said flue-cured auction mop-up sale will be conducted on Aug. 17, 2022, and depending on the volume of deliveries, the clean-up sale may be continued for more than one day until all delivered tobacco is sold.

The TIMB added that because of significant volumes that are still being received, contract sales will continue until further notice.

The bulk of Zimbabwe's tobacco leaf is sold through contract floors, with 95 percent of the crop grown under the contract system while only 5 percent of farmers self-finance tobacco leaf production.

People work at Tobacco Sales Floor on the opening day of Zimbabwe's tobacco auction season in Harare, Zimbabwe, on March 30, 2022. (Photo by Shaun Jusa/Xinhua)

Zimbabwe's 2022 tobacco auction selling season started on March 30, 2022.

Tobacco prices have been slightly firmer this year, due to better quality leaves despite the difficult weather conditions experienced during the season.

The opening price this year was 4.60 U.S. dollars per kg, slightly up from 4.30 dollars last year.

Over the course of the selling season, prices remained firm, averaging above 3 dollars per kg compared to an average of 2.80 dollars per kg last year.

As of Tuesday this week, a total of 179.4 million kg of golden leaf had been sold at an average price of 3.04 dollars per kg.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's second foreign currency earner after gold, with China and South Africa being the major buyers of the golden leaf.

The government has forecast tobacco production to decline by eight percent this year to 183,725 metric tonnes from 200,245 tonnes in the previous season. ■