(Updates with comment by agriculture minister in second paragraph.)
Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s tobacco-selling season started today with prices for flue-cured Virginia leaf selling for as much as $4.75 a kilogram, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said.
The opening price was $4.45 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) and the lowest was $1.70, Made said at the Boka Tobacco Auction Floor today in Harare, the capital.
The southern African nation will probably produce 150 million kilograms of tobacco this year, according to the country’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
While output of the leaf is recovering, it’s still below peak levels of about 236 million kilograms achieved in 2000, before President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Front party sponsored often-violent seizures of most white-owned farms. Output slipped to a low of 58.6 million kilograms in 2009.
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