Cigarette use in Venezuela is expected to reach 5.1 billion pieces in 1997, down 33 percent from 1996 and nearly 46 percent lower than in 1995. Much of the decline in smoking is due to Venezuela's ongoing economic recession and subsequent decline in consumer income. However, Venezuela's relatively new anti-smoking policy may also be having an impact on cigarette use. The new smoking policy prohibits smoking on domestic airline flights, in schools, and in certain areas of the more exclusive restaurants. In addition, there is a total ban on cigarette advertising on radio and television.
In France, the production of dark tobacco continues to decline. In 1997, dark air-cured and dark sun-cured production is expected to drop to slightly over 11,000 metric tons, nearly 9 percent lower than in 1996. Much of the decline in dark tobacco production stems from the ongoing change in consumer's preference for blended cigarettes and away from dark cigarettes. Blended cigarettes currently account for nearly 72 percent of the cigarettes sold in France while dark cigarettes account for the remaining 26 percent. Although France traditionally produced far more dark tobaccos than flue-cured or burley tobaccos, output of dark tobaccos now accounts for only about 37 percent of the total leaf crop, while flue-cured and burley account for the remaining 62 percent.
Zimbabwe's Tobacco Marketing board reported 8,872 metric tons of flue-cured tobacco were sold during the 12th week of the auction season at an average price of U.S.$2.38 per kilogram. During the season to date, 100,624 tons of leaf have been sold at an average price of U.S.$2.40 per kilogram. This is only slightly below the volume sold during the first 12 weeks last year, but the average price is down about 18 percent from a year earlier.
Zimbabwe Flue-cured Tobacco Auction
Sales Through Week 12
July 16, 1997
|Average Value per Kilogram
|Source: Tobacco Marketing Board, Zimbabwe
are made in U.S. dollars.
Through the 10th week of the 1997 auction season, the Malawi Tobacco Control Commission reported that 3,525 metric tons of flue-cured tobacco were sold at auction in Malawi. Last year, 3,689 tons were sold in the same number of weeks. Flue-cured prices were 2 percent lower than last year at US$1.96 per kilogram. Burley sales in the first 10 weeks of this year's Malawi auction season totaled 49,243 tons, 8 percent higher than last year. Prices for burley were US$1.71 per kilogram, about 5 percent higher than last year.