Outlook grim for Zimbabwe tobacco
SLUGGISH global demand, a smaller than normal crop and excessive rains have all contributed to a pessimistic outlook for Zimbabwes tobacco auctions.
Tobacco is the countrys top export, accounting for as much as 25% of total earnings.
But prices are forecast to follow last years trend and remain low.
This years crop is described as “variable, with a large proportion of excellent tobacco”.
But demand for higher quality, more costly leaf is likely to be subdued this year, resulting in a slightly lower average price over the season.
The forecast is for an average price of around 165US¢/kg.
That would give growers a gross income of some US$305m, down 18% from last year and the lowest since 1990.
- Zimbabwes future hangs on tobacco, FWi, 06 April, 1999
- Zimbabwe tobacco prices shock farmers, FWi, 01 April, 1998
- Financial Times 21/04/99 page 44