According to the press release on the Herald, although the tobacco market was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, also a ban on cigarette sales in neighboring South Africa, the tobacco industry in Zimbabwean still expects its leaf production to hold up its sales.
Paul Zakariya, director of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, stated in the report:
"I don't foresee any marked change, which would lead to a reduction in the production of tobacco in Zimbabwe."
And he also added and pointed out other challenges for the market, such as the increasing cost of inputs. He said:
"Covid-19 is just one among other major factors that may affect production."
Tobacco farmers and tobacco auctions were not affected by Zimbabwe's lockdown and curfew regulations. So, to limit large gatherings of people during the pandemic period, smaller deliveries of leaf were combined into larger ones for transport to the sales floors. And groups of farmers will send representatives instead of attending the sales process in person, according to feature story "Silent Auction" in June 2020.
Recently, according to the press release on Research and Markets, the retail prices of the global tobacco market will reach $66,42 billion, rising at an average of 2.6% a year between 2019 to 2024.
Although there was a drought in the 2018-2019 cropping season, Zimbabwe still planed to produce a record-breaking tobacco output, which may reach an all-time high of 258 million kg.
Under the World Health Organization Covid-19 health guidelines, farmers had already sold 159 million kilograms of tobacco in the current marketing season, which worth $390 million as trading reaches its peak.
During this season, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board expects farmers to produce around 224 million kg of tobacco, which is lower than the previous year's output level of 259.5 million kilograms, mainly because of the drought.
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