HARARE, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is likely to miss its target for tobacco leaf output for 2017 due to excessive rains recorded this year, according to statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
By Aug. 22 this year, farmers had delivered 187.1 million kg of the golden leaf worth 555.1 million U.S. dollars, seven percent down from 201.6 million kg worth 592.8 million dollars delivered during the same period last year.
The 2017 tobacco auction sales closed on Aug. 11 while a few contractors are still buying the remaining crop from contracted growers.
Zimbabwe had targeted to produce 205 million kg of tobacco leaf this year but most of the crop was affected by excessive rains, hailstorm and diseases.
However, this year's seasonal price has been firmer, standing at 2.97 per kg, slightly up from 2.94 per kg last year.
Tobacco leaf is one of Zimbabwe's major foreign currency earner, accounting for 10 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.
China has over the years been the biggest buyer of Zimbabwean tobacco leaf.