Friday, June 11, 2010

(HERALD) Tobacco deliveries to auction floors improve

Tobacco deliveries to auction floors improve
Agriculture Reporter

More than 6,5 million kilogrammes of tobacco are being delivered to the auction floors every week following an improvement in the supply of hessian bags. The bags have been in short supply and were being sold at the open market at exorbitant prices.

Zimbabwe Industry and Tobacco Auction Centre public relations manager, Ms Kudzayi Hamadziripi, yesterday said deliveries had improved and full sales were being conducted.

A full sale at Zitac comprises 6 400 bales.

"There have been restrictions during the past weeks as farmers failed to deliver their crop due to the short supply of the wrapping material.

"On Monday, we registered an increase in deliveries as most farmers were anticipating good prices at the beginning of the week," she said.

Latest information from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board shows that throughout last week, deliveries almost doubled to 6,5 million kilogrammes from 3,5 million kilogrammes the previous week.

"This is attributed largely to availability of wrapping material that has significantly improved as prices also firmed up against the previous week," read the statement.

According to TIMB, the downward trend on the seasonal average prices continued closing the week at an average US$3,05 per kilogramme.

TIMB’s weekly bulletin states that although some good grades recorded slight gains, average prices continued to weaken during the past week to US$2,67 from US$2,87 per kilogramme recorded the week before.

"As a result of the downward trend on prices during the past week, tobacco withdrawals for speculative reasons increased, torn tickets by growers constituted the majority of the rejected bales."

During the past two weeks, farmers boycotted selling their crop due to poor prices that were being offered by buyers.

The low prices were attributed to major buyers who had withdrawn from the market.

The situation, however improved as more buyers started returning to the market.

Farmers have the right to object to a sale when not satisfied with the price but cannot do so as a group as this is an offence.

Meanwhile, about 114 000kg of burley tobacco have so far been delivered to the auction floors at an average price of US$2,13 per kilogramme, TIMB chief executive officer Dr Andrew Matibiri has said.

Dr Matibiri said there was a significant increase of burley tobacco delivered this year as compared to last year.

"Last year, there was 55 368kg that were delivered compared to this year’s 113 565kg during the same period.

"The burley tobacco delivered is worth US$242 187.00 as compared to US$100 693, which shows that there is a 51,2 percent increase from last year," he said.

Dr Matibiri said there was also a significant increase in the average price of the crop from last year’s US$1,82 to this year’s US$2,13.

"There is a 200 percent increase of burley tobacco farmers this year as compared to 2009.

Burley tobacco farmers deliver their crop to Savanna and Gold Driven Investment and the two companies have contracts with the farmers," he said.

This year there is a reduction of tobacco wastage from last year’s 8,8 percent to this year’s 0.1 percent.

According to statistics from TIMB, the daily delivery of tobacco has also significantly increased from last year’s 856kg to 8617kg this year. This therefore translates to a massive 90 percent increase.

The statistics showed that there was also an increase of tobacco bales laid and sold as compared to 2009, with a 57,9 percent and 61,6 percent respectively.



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