TOBACCO auction floors yesterday received a low volume of flue-cured Virginia tobacco ahead of stripping in front of the sales that start today. By 12 am yesterday, Boka Tobacco Auction floors had the highest number after it received more than 415 packages. An official with BTF said the company expected more supplies as the day progressed.
“Usually, farmers bring their crop during the evening, and we expect volumes to pick up,” he said.
At the Tobacco Sales Floor, more than 110 packages had been received from the auction floors closed last month.
Premier Tobacco Floors managing director Mr Philemon Mangena said during the same period last year, they received more than 550 packages this season, but only 12 packages were received yesterday morning.
“This shows that the majority of farmers sold their crops at the end of the auction floors. There is not a lot of tobacco in rural areas,” he said.
Some farmers said they sold most of their crop in the early days, while others said they deliberately hid their crop stripper sales.
Mvuma farmer, Mr. Thomas Mambo said he was selling his remaining bales to raise money to go to the next season.
“At first, I sold my tobacco so that I could pay tuition for their children, but now I want to buy the materials for the upcoming season,” he said.
The 2013 flue-cured tobacco auction selling season came to an end at day 100 after 160 million kilograms of tobacco had been sold for US$590 million.
Auction floors contributed to 53.100.000 pounds worth U.S. $ 190 million while 110 kg of tobacco had been sold through the contract floors.
Tobacco Industry Marketing Board said the clean-up sales will continue in dependence on the auction floors. By July 26, 163.510.000 kilograms of tobacco had been sold. A total of 175 million kg is expected to be sold this season.