Zimbabwe’s tobacco export earnings reportedly closed 2018 at US $892m. This is from the cumulative 184.1m kgs exported to different parts of the world.
According to a statement released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), last year’s crop was exported at an average price of $4.85 a kg. Moreover, the country earned US $904m from 182.4m kg exported across the globe at an average price of $4.96 a kg in 2017.
On the other hand, the latest data from TIMB further indicates that China, the major consumer of the flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe, spent US $449.7m from importing approximately 59m kg of the crop. This was reportedly at US $7.61 a kg. This was last year.
Similarly, in the same year, South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia were among the top five consumers of flue-cured tobacco from Zimbabwe. South Africa spent US $100.8 million importing 32.2m kg of tobacco. Meanwhile, Belgium imported 17.6m kg of tobacco worth US $58.1m at an average price of US $3.30 per kg.
According to media reports the UAE spent US $32.9m on 14.3m kg at an average price of US $2.29 a kg. A total of 65 nations including Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, Malawi, Botswana, Kenya, New Zealand, Cambodia, Ukraine, Croatia, and the United Kingdom were importing Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco. In 2017, 66 countries consumed tobacco from Zimbabwe.
Tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners. As such, the Government has recognized the sector’s contribution to the economy. This is as evidenced by the incentives the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has availed to boost the crop’s output. Last year, the Central Bank increased the tobacco input finance facility from US $28m I 2017 to US $70m this year.