Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 4

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62 tobaccoasia TOBACCO LEAF 烟叶新闻 WHO SAID WHAT? Malawi Tobacco exports up 36% According to the Malawi Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), the country's tobacco exports have increased 36% in first half period of this year. In a recently released statement the TCC said that, "this is an increase from the same period last year when the country had exported the commodity for US$87 million." Further data collected by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) shows that in the period from January-May 2014, cumulative tobacco exports were at US$137.7 million. Malawi is one of the world's largest tobacco producers and the world's most tobacco-dependent economy – it is only one of seven countries in the world that derive at least 1% of export earnings from tobacco. Burley leaf from Malawi accounts for 6.6% of the world's tobacco exports and over 70% of the country's foreign earnings. Tobacco makes up 53% of the southern African nation's exports with US$165 million per year generated from tobacco sales. Tobacco is produced in both large estates and in small landholdings throughout the country. Malawi JTI factory on hold Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has announced that it no longer plans any further investment in the local cigarette manufacturing plant due to reasons beyond its control. According to Fries Vanneste, JTI's leaf Malawi managing director, who recently spoke to journal- ists in the capital Lilongwe, the company has used its resources, originally intended to be invested into the Malawi plant, to buy a cigarette company in Sudan and Egypt. "For the meantime, the company has stopped all the processes and preparations for the factory in the country. Unless govern- ment shows an interest for us to invest then we will do so," Vanneste said. He also stated that JTI submitted a proposal to Malawi government to invest in the factory of cigarette a while back but has not yet received a reply. Malawi has only one cigarette manufacturing company called Nyasa Tobacco Manufacturing Company. Japan JT testing domestic leaf Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) has published the result of its pre-purchase testing for radioactive material of this year's flue- cured Virginia tobacco grown in Japan. Since the accident at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, JT, with support of tobacco growers, has been conducting a number of tests of Japanese domestic leaf tobacco at every stage of its production process in order to allay consumer concern. Testing of this year's flue-cured Virginia tobacco showed that none of the leaf tobacco tested exceeded the JT standard value (Radioactive cesium: 100Bq/kg). JT promised to continue with its testing of domestic leaf tobacco after purchase, as well as with testing and monitoring a number of times at each stage of its production process, and to continue to take all possible measures to ensure superior quality control. Testing of the remaining Japanese- grown tobacco and burley tobacco will start some time in September. China/Tanzania Tanzania to export to China The Yunnan Tobacco International Company (YTIC) announced that it would start buying tobacco leaf from Tanzania and the company is planning to buy 10,000 tons this season. The deal comes as a result of the bilateral trade deal signed by China's president Xi Jinping during his visit to Tanzania in last March. According to Yang Xuemei, YTIC's vice-president, the company believes that Tanzania's tobacco leaf is of superior quality and the volumes of purchased tobacco is likely to increase next year. Tobacco is the largest traditional pillar industry of Yunnan, accounting for over one-third of both growing acreage and output of China. Yunnan province boasts 16 tobacco brands and 21 kinds of tobacco products. Data from the Tanzania Tobacco Board (TTB) show that Tanzania is currently one of the world's leading producers of tobacco leaf. It is the fifteenth largest producer in the world and the fourth largest in Africa, after Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The deal is expected to go a long way in cutting down the trade imbalance between Tanzania and China. Zimbabwe Contracts on the rise Information published by the country's Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) shows that continuous delivery to merchants after closure of auction floors has resulted in the market share for contracted tobacco rising slightly from 76.1% to 76.4% of total produc- tion for this year. Contractors had accounted for 67.5% of total production compared to 32.5% of auctioned tobacco during the same period last year. Only 3 out of the 16 merchants licensed to purchase tobacco this year are still accepting the crop from farmers under the ongoing contract sales. The three merchants still buying tobacco are Northern Tobacco, Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco, and Tianze. TIMB said that total seasonal sales stand at 215.1 million kg, up from at "High taxes are the sole driver of the back market for tobacco. There was virtually no illicit trade in cigarettes before government started to tax them heavily." - Christopher Snowdon, a research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs in the US.

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