Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 4

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68 tobaccoasia By Chris Bickers BRAZIL LEAF Leaf and let leaf Flue-cured Virginia The 2014 crop was described by one dealer as "not good but not bad" in quality. In the current world oversupply of Virginia tobacco, that is not good enough, and a very large oversupply, most from 2014, is now in the hands of the dealers. They are reportedly petitioning for a smaller crop in the coming season, which will begin in the field in September or October. But there may be opposi- tion from the country's powerful growers. With lower-than-anticipated grades in some cases, the sale price of the 2014 crop fell 10% to 15% from the previous year, and another price drop is likely. The last three flue-cured Virginia crops in Brazil have come in at about the same volume, around 600,000 metric tons (MT). Hail & Cotton estimated production of the 2014 crop—the most recent one—at around 590,971 MT. But Univer- sal Leaf thinks the 2014 Virginia crop came in at a little higher. It pegs production at 610 million green kgs, and it makes a projection for 2015 of 550 million kgs. Another report prepared near the end of the 2014 delivery period said that no diseases had been reported to that point in the season, and yields will be normal, estimated at 2,100 kgs per hectare. Demand continues very strong, particu- larly on top quality and high nicotine tobaccos. Despite the oversupply, inventories remain very low on top quality and mahogany upper stalk po- sition, the report said. Burley All growing areas received good rains with con- sequent high moisture contributing favorably to the curing, said a report prepared during the 2014 delivery period. A very good quality crop was ex- pected. But early deliveries were below projection. Nicotine levels projected to be normal, and demand has been mainly on top quality leaf and high nicotine tobaccos. Total estimated produc- tion around 99,742 MT. Inventories are normal. Universal Leaf projected Brazilian burley pro- duction at 100 million MT after 95 million in 2013 and 85 million in 2012. It expects a sharp drop in 2015, perhaps to 75 million MT. Brazil/US/Argentina Leaf Report A farmer near Wilson, N.C., applied additional fertilizer to his flue-cured on August 6 using a large precision spreader.

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