Tobacco prices continue to firm with contract sales fetching over US$5 per kg, while the highest auction price was US$4 per kg during today (Monday)’s trading.

This comes as the 2019 tobacco
marketing season entered fourth week today with over 4 million kgs having gone
under the hammer by Friday last week.

The volumes constitute 50 percent of
the golden leaf sold during the same time last year.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB)
Spokesperson, Isheunesu Moyo attributed the downward trend to a false start
which saw the bulk of farmers holding on to their crop, owing to payment misconceptions.

A visit to the floors portrayed a
positive picture as tobacco prices are firming while deliveries have
significantly improved.

“As you can see, it is now a full
house, the low volumes were a result of miscommunication on the new payment
matrix, but that has been resolved. More interesting is that all merchants are
on board triggering competition,” noted Moyo.

With the average price firming to US$1,86
per kg, the best quality leaf fetching US$4 at auction floors and over US$5 per
kg at contract sales, farmers expressed mixed feelings over the pricing matrix

“What is confusing is that the same
classification is being used but the leaf bought at US$3.50 last year is
fetching US$1.30 this season,” decried one farmer.

The golden leaf has so far raked in
over US$7.2 million in foreign currency as compared to over US$16 million earned
the same period last year.

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