Hong Kong's imports of U.S. leaf tobacco in 1996 earned an average price, including insurance and freight, of US$ 7.59 per kilogram for flue-cured and US$ 6.67 per kilogram for burley. Hong Kong's imports of U.S. flue-cured tobacco in 1996 reached 2,503 metric tons, while imports of U.S. burley totaled 899 metric tons.
As a result of high excise taxes (see, Tobacco: World Markets and Trends, May, 1997) industry estimates are that 30 percent of Hong Kong cigarette consumption is contraband. However, Hong Kong officials are taking steps to curb the flow of illicitly traded cigarettes. The number of contraband cigarettes intercepted has increased in recent years from 180 million in 1995to an estimated 372 million in 1996. To encourage the reporting of contraband cigarettes, the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department in conjunction with the Hong Kong Tobacco Institute offers rewards for information leading to a seizure of 500,000 or more cigarettes. In 1996, the Institute paid a total of HK$ 350,000 (US$ 45,336) in rewards and expects to pay HK$ 500,000 in rewards in 1997. The reward is HK$ 10,000 for between 500,000 and 1,000,000 cigarettes, HK$ 20,000 for between 1,000,001 and 1,500,000 cigarettes, HK$ 30,000 for between 1,500,001 and 2,000,000 cigarettes and HK$ 50,000 for over 2,000,000 cigarettes (US$ 1 = HK$ 7.78) .
Indonesia's Minister of Finance has implemented a new tax scheme, the Classification & Excise Tax Rate on Tobacco Products, effective April 1, 1997. According to the new scheme, manufacturers are classified on the basis of annual production as large-scale, medium-scale, small/medium-scale and small-scale. Taxes depend on the size of the producer. For clove cigarettes the excise tax is 38, 34, 24 and 20 percent, respectively, for large, medium, small medium and small-scale producers. The tax rates for regular cigarettes are based on retail cigarette prices. If the retail price is 80 Rupiahs (Rp.), then the tax rate is 38 percent; Rp. 60 to Rp. 80, 24 percent; Rp. 30 to Rp. 60, 24 percent; and, up to Rp. 30, 20 percent. The minimum retail price for regular cigarettes are Rp. 35 for hard packs and Rp. 25 for soft packs. For other cigarettes the minimum retail price depends on the scale of the production enterprise and is 85, 60, 50 and 40 Rp. per machine made clove cigarette and 65, 45, 35 and 25 Rp. per hand-made cigarette for large, medium, small/medium, and small-scale companies, respectively. (US$ 1 = Rp. 2,415, 4/2/97)
Spains unmanufactured tobacco imports in 1997 are expected to reach 53,650 metric tons, an increase of 2 percent from 1996 and 11 percent higher than in 1995. Much of the increase in imports is a result of a rise in the popularity and subsequently the production of American-blend cigarettes. American-blend brands account for nearly 70 percent of the Spanish cigarette market, up from 63 percent in 1994. The market share of dark tobacco cigarettes continues to decline and now accounts for about 30 percent of consumption. Most of the leaf tobacco imported by Spain for the manufacturing of blended cigarettes comes from the United States. In terms of value, U.S. market share of Spains leaf imports in 1996 reached nearly 58 percent. Other suppliers include Brazil, Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Malawi.
The first Zimbabwe flue-cured tobacco auction opened on April 22, and all four Zimbabwe auctions are now open. Through the 11th week, leaf tobacco gross sales on the TSF and BMZ floors reached 49,375 metric tons. Compared to total sales for the same time last year, both quantity and prices are down 10 percent from sales of 55,777 tons and prices of $2.96 per kilogram.
Zimbabwe Flue-cured Tobacco Auction
Sales Through Week 11
June 11, 1997
|Average Value per Kilogram
|Source: Tobacco Marketing Board, Zimbabwe
are made in U.S. dollars.