ZIMBABWE has raked in US$117,4 million from the sale of 37,9 million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco in both contract and auction systems since the beginning of the 2010 tobacco marketing season in February, according to figures released by the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) this week.
Tobacco sales grew by 5,6% from $106 million realised from the sale of 35, 9 million kilogrammes last year. Prices of tobacco are relatively firmer than last year with the seasonal average floating at US$3,09 per kg against US$2,84 per kg in the same period.
According to the figures, tobacco prices are falling as deliveries improve on the auction floors.
The downward trend on prices began in week five through to week nine from an average of US$3,45 to the current average of US$3,10.
Tobacco deliveries have considerably increased from an average of around 420 000 kilogrammes a day in the first four weeks of the season to an average 1, 4 million kilogrammes. Another contributing factor to the price fall is the small number of buyers against improved supplies.
A total of 77 million kilogrammes of tobacco is expected to be delivered to the sales floors this season after more farmers planted the crop on the back of high prices last year. Last year tobacco was voted the best paying crop.
Government hopes that internally generated sources of funding like tobacco, diamonds and other metals’ sales will play a critical role in improving market liquidity and stabilising interest rates.
Kingdom Stock Brokers this week said interest rates would remain higher, given tight liquidity on the market. Deposits in Zimbabwe’s banks increased by 15% to US$1,4 billion this month from US$1,2 billion in December last year, according to latest statistics from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.
Total deposits on the local financial sector stood at around US$300 million when the multi-currency environment was officially introduced n February last year.