Tobacco sales at the Limbe Auction Floors are expected to close by end of July, tobacco market operator, AHL Group has said.
This comes as the third and final tobacco production assessment, whose results would determine final estimates and amount of tobacco yet to be traded countrywide, is underway.
The results would also determine the precise day of closure for this year’s tobacco selling season, which now enters its 13th week.
Limbe Auction Floors Manager, Moses Yoramu, said in an interview on Friday that, this far, the market has already traded above the projected amount of tobacco for the entire season.
As at end last week, over 15.9 million kilogrammes (kgs) of all types of tobacco had been traded at the floors at an average price of $1.78 per kg.
“Normally, because of the volumes that we sell here at Limbe, we close earlier than other floors. And this is also expected to be the case this season. We are, of course, still receiving tobacco from other regions,” Yoramu said.
The Southern Region produces the least amount of tobacco compared to the other regions of the country.
According to Yoramu, the market has gained momentum, with high expectations for further improvement in average prices as farmers are bringing top quality leaf to the market.
“In comparison to last season, we have so far, sold more tobacco. Buyers are also offering better prices compared to the beginning of the season and the remaining weeks look promising. We expect to get much better prices,” Yoramu said.
Tobacco farmers are estimated to have produced 149 million kgs of all types of tobacco this year, against the 171 million kgs international market demand.