Farmer's Voice

Chinese enthusiasm for Zimbabwe leaf has been the bright spot on this market

Prices for top "Chinese styles" can reach US$10 per kg or more, and small scale farmers are hungry to cash in. However, China can take only about 50 percent of the crop. The remainder--made up of mostly non-Chinese styles--has to compete with Brazil and U.S. flavor styles, resulting in considerable pressure on prices. Downward pricing has been experienced at all of the four trading floors recently. Farmer disaffection has been so great at times that the army has been needed to maintain order. Zimbabwe's flue-cured 2015/16 crop (i.e, the last one) was the smallest in the past five years. Based on seed sales to farmers, the crop next year crop is projected at 150 million kgs.