Floor prices of various types of tobacco in the next two years were hiked by as much as over 51 percent to ensure a 25 percent increase in farmers’ income, the National Tobacco Administration announced on Friday.
NTA Administrator Edgardo D. Zaragoza, in a press briefing announced the price increases for Virginia, burley, and native tobacco effective crop years 2012 to 2013 as a result of a recently-concluded tripartite conference participated in by the government regulatory agency, farmers, and buyer firms.
Floor prices of AA grade Virginia tobacco was pegged at P72 per kilo, up by 9 percent from P66 in 2010-2011. Prices for grades B, C, D, and E were also increased by P5, respectively, while grades E, F1, and F2 were increased by P3.00. Usable R tobacco was priced at P40 per kilo, up by P12 from the previous price of P28.
For burley grades A, B, C, D, E, F and R, and native high grade/morado, liso high, liso medium, and short sapod were increased by an average of P7 per kilo. Native sexta or reject sapod was priced at P22, up by 51.72 percent from its original level of P14.50.
Zaragoza said the new tobacco rates were a result of separate negotiations they held with farmers and buyer firms. “We talked separately with farmers and buyers so there was no need to haggle for the prices (like in the past). We came up with floor prices that are acceptable to both parties based on calculations that will ensure 25 percent income for the farmers,” he said.
As this developed, Zaragoza also reportedtobacco production reached 78.5 million kilos in green weight this year, compared to the 74 million kilos produced in 2010.
Total exports could reach 35.1 million kilos, up by about 5 percent from last year’s 33.45 million kilos, while total leaf importation for unmanufactured tobacco was pegged at 80 million kilos dry weight, equivalent to 133 million kilos in green weight, Zaragoza said.
NTA documents reveal that annual total demand for tobacco leaves was at 127 million kilos dried weight, or 211 million kilos green weight.
The country’s top export partners for unmanufactured tobacco are the United States, Belgium, South Africa, Korea and Malaysia, while manufactured tobacco are sent to Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION (NTA)