South Africa has huge internal demand for tobacco to be manufactured into cigarettes and has bypassed China as the biggest buyer of Zimbabwe’s golden leaf tobacco, according to a report in TheStandard.
Tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s largest foreign currency earners, the report said.
An estimated 340 million pounds of tobacco will be sold this year, according to Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
As of last week, China was a distant fourth for tobacco exports, behind Belgium (No. 3), United Arab Emirates (No. 2) and South Africa.
During the same period last year, China ranked No. 1 for Zimbabwe tobacco exports and South Africa was No. 4, the report said.
As of last week, Zimbabwe had sold 364,671,000 pounds of tobacco worth $609,232,676.
China accounts for 40 percent of the Zimbabwe’s tobacco output, said Andrew Matibiri, CEO of Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.