The tobacco marketing season has started gaining momentum with both crop quality and prices showing signs of improvement.
Data from the Tobacco Control Commission shows that atleast 8,336,035 kilogrammes of tobacco have been sold so far fetching US$10 million in revenue.
TCC Chief Executive Officer, Albert Changaya, said the green gold has started fetching better prices as more quality leaf starts to make its way to the floors.
“Most farmers are now bringing to the floors middle leaf and already we have seen the No Grade leaf which was being rejected earlier being bought. The price for the No Grade leaf was at US$0.80 per kilogramme previously but now the price has gone up to US$0.85 per kilogramme,” said Changaya.
Changaya further said with improvements in quality, the grading has also improved raising hope that the market will run smoothly in the days to come.
Farmers are also optimistic of getting better returns and one of the farmers from, Chiradzulu Edward Jackson, anticipates good prices as he takes his bales to the Limbe Auction Floors this week.
“The bales I am sending now are of middle leaf tobacco and I have graded them accordingly hence I do not expect lower prices,” said Jackson.
The tobacco market has entered its fifth week and as at May 3, revenue from tobacco stood at US$10 million. But the returns are still US$11.6 million less than the US$21.613 million realised during the same period last year.
On average, a kilogramme of the green gold is attracting an average price of US$1.19 which is US$0.22 less than the US$1.41per kilogrammes offered to farmers during the same period last year.