WORLD UNMANUFACTURED TOBACCO TRADE
United States: The United States exported 222,316 metric tons of unmanufactured tobacco in 1996, valued at $1.39 billion. This represents an increase in quantity of 6 percent and a decrease in value of 1 percent from 1995. Increased shipments to the European Union, particularly Belgium/Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, accounted for much of the increase. Exports to Turkey, Switzerland, Malaysia and South Korea also improved in 1996, while shipments to Japan, Thailand and Taiwan were lower. The United States leading unmanufactured tobacco export markets in 1996 were: the European Union, with sales of 106,573 tons (up 20 percent from 1995); Japan, 40,245 tons (down 17 percent); Turkey, 15,943 tons (up 60 percent); Thailand 7,234 tons (down 16 percent); and Switzerland, 6,756 tons (up 3 percent).
Flue-cured and burley tobaccos, along with stems, account for nearly 90 percent of U.S. unmanufactured tobacco exports. In 1996, flue-cured exports totaled 112,794 tons, valued at $786.5 million, down 8 percent in quantity and 9 percent in value from 1995. U.S. burley exports reached 52,201 tons, valued at $380 million, up 11 percent in quantity, and 4 percent in value. U.S. tobacco stem exports in 1996 totaled 33,974 tons, valued at $34.4 million, up 5 percent in quantity and more than three-fold in value.
So far in 1997, (January through August), U.S. unmanufactured tobacco exports totaled 149,443 tons, up 17 percent from 1996 during the same period. Increased shipments to the European Union account for much of this growth. U.S. leaf exports are expected to end the year in 1997 totaling nearly 230,000 tons, up 3 percent from 1996.
Flue-cured, burley and oriental tobaccos (including stems) combined account for nearly 68 percent of U.S. unmanufactured tobacco imports for consumption. U.S. imports of flue-cured tobacco totaled 59,509 tons in 1996, up more than two-fold from 1995, while imports of burley tobacco totaled 56,207 tons (up more than three-fold). U.S. imports of stems in 1996 totaled 53,088 tons, an increase of more than three-fold from 1995. The United States also imports a considerable amount of oriental tobaccos which along with flue-cured and burley account for most of the tobacco in the American-blend cigarette. In 1996, U.S. imports of oriental tobacco totaled 90,211 metric tons, up 3 percent from 1995. Overall, the leading suppliers of U.S. leaf imports in 1996 were: Brazil, 82,413 tons(an increase of nearly three-fold from 1995); Turkey, 72,868 tons (up more than two-fold); Argentina, 23,285 tons (up more than three-fold); Malawi, 17,558 tons( up 99 percent); Thailand, 14,736 tons (up nearly nine-fold); and Greece, 13506 tons (down 44 percent).
For the period January through August 1997, U.S. leaf general imports totaled 210,210 tons, up 13 percent from 1996 for the same period. Much of this increase is due to implementation of the tariff-rate-quota which is viewed as being less restrictive than the Domestic Marketing Assessment which it replaced. U.S. leaf general imports for 1997 are forecast at 340,000 tons, up 4 percent from 1996.
Mexico: In 1996 unmanufactured tobacco exports totaled 11,687 metric tons, up 63 percent. For 1997 leaf tobacco exports are forecast at 15,308 tons, up 32 percent. Burley tobacco accounted for 96 percent of Mexicos total unmanufactured tobacco exports. 90 percent of this trade was destined for the U.S. Burley exports totaled 13,000 tons, up 97 percent. Devaluation of the Mexican peso increased market demand for burley tobacco in the international market. For 1997 burley exports are expected to total 15,058 tons, up 15 percent. Mexico was not a significant leaf importing country in 1996. Mexicos unmanufactured tobacco imports dropped to 2,000 tons, down 33 percent in 1996. For 1997, Mexican leaf imports are expected to double to 4,000 tons.
Argentina: Unmanufactured tobacco exports totaled 55,800 metric tons in 1996, up 28 percent. For 1997, tobacco leaf exports are expected to remain constant at 58,500 tons. Major export markets for unmanufactured leaf tobacco were U.S., England, and Germany. The United States purchased 40 percent of Argentine tobacco in 1996 valued at $43.9 million. Burley tobacco exports totaled 13,700 tons, up 40 percent. In 1997 burley tobacco exports are expected to increase 9 percent to 15,000 tons. The United States accounted for 66 percent of the Argentine burley tobacco exports as it purchased 8,525 tons of burley in 1996, valued at $20.14 million. Argentine exported 36,400 tons of flue-cured tobacco in 1996, up 36 percent. Flue-cured tobacco exports are projected at 42,000 tons in 1997, up 15 percent. The United States bought 11,723 tons of flue-cured tobacco valued at $22,810. Since domestic tobacco production grew nearly 15 percent in 1996, imports have fallen. Argentina imported 6,000 tons of unmanufactured tobacco in 1996, down 3 percent and 1997 tobacco leaf imports are expected to drop to 5,000 tons. Flue-cured tobacco imports fell 3 percent to 3,500 tons. A major supplier of flue-cured tobacco to Argentina was Brazil. Burley imports doubled to 2,000 tons in 1996 valued at $6.5 million with South Africa being the major supplier of burley followed by Malawi and Brazil.
Brazil: Total leaf exports reached 282,500 metric tons in 1996, up 10 percent. For 1997, unmanufactured tobacco exports are expected to totaled 294,000 tons, up 4 percent. Low international leaf supply, attractive international prices, and lower U.S. production were factors affecting Brazilian leaf exports. Brazilian flue-cured tobacco accounted for 82 percent of tobacco traded in 1996. In 1996 Brazil exported 232,000 tons of flue-cured tobacco, up 13 percent. Flue-cured exports in 1997 are projected to increase 4 percent to 43,000 tons. Burley exports remained constant in 1996 at 39,500 tons and are projected to increase to 43,000 tons in 1997, up nearly 9 percent. Major export markets were the European Union and the United States. Brazil does not typically import unmanufactured tobacco due to abundant domestic leaf supplies. Because of a sharp increase in Brazilian cigarette exports, unmanufactured tobacco is being imported to manufactured certain speciality blends. Unmanufactured tobacco imports reached 17,300 tons, up 8.8 percent in 1996. For 1997, imports are expected to decline 13 percent to 15,000 tons.
Chile: Unmanufactured tobacco production for 1997 is anticipated to total 11,117 metric tons, up 5 percent. Reduced stocks, increased demand for tobacco exports, and strong domestic consumption, coupled with a lack of alternative crops for producers in the main growing area allowed the industry to commit a larger area for tobacco production. Chiles 1997 unmanufactured tobacco imports are expected to reach 3,120 tons, up 136 percent and the country is expected to produce 7,634 tons of burley tobacco, up 14 percent from 1996. Chilean burley tobacco accounted for most of the tobacco trade. Burley exports are expected to remain constant at 4,100 tons. The United States was Chiles main export market for tobacco in 1996. Burley imports are expected to double to 1,950 tons in 1997 due to a reduction in stock. Cigarette production is expected to remain constant at 12.825 billion pieces in 1997.
Dominican Republic: Because of an increased demand for high quality cigars, dark air-cured and dark sun-cured tobacco, exports totaled 15,915 metric tons in 1996, up 17 percent. In 1997 dark air-cured tobacco and dark sun-cured tobacco exports are forecast to increase to 16,000 tons. The European Union and the United States were the main buyers of dark tobacco in 1996. The United States was the main supplier of dark tobacco and dark tobacco wrapper to the Dominican Republic in 1996. Imports of dark tobacco increased more than 40 percent during 1996 because of the boom in cigar production for the export market. Dominican Republic imported 2,650 tons of dark tobacco wrappers from the U.S. valued at U.S. $66.5 million.
Guatemala: Guatemalan unmanufactured tobacco exports totaled 10,028 metric tons. Because of greater access to U.S. markets under the tariff rate quota and strong market demand for burley tobacco, Guatemala exported 9,175 tons of burley tobacco in 1996, up 78 percent and is forecast to export 9,320 tons in 1997. The United States purchased 4,267 tons of burley tobacco in 1996. Guatemala is forecast to export 6,500 tons of burley tobacco in 1997 to the United States, up 50 percent. Guatemala is not a significant importer of unmanufactured leaf tobacco.
Italy: Exports of unmanufactured tobacco totaled 138,829 tons in 1996, up 17 percent from 1995. A strong foreign demand for Italian leaf, favorable export prices, and a substantial (but declining) level of re-exports of Greek and Spanish leaf, account for much of this growth. Italys exports of burley tobacco rose 46 percent in 1996, while oriental and dark fire-cured exports rose 34 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Exports of dark air-cured tobaccos, which totaled nearly 27,000 tons in 1996, were down 11 percent. Intra-EU trade represented about 39 percent of Italys leaf exports in 1996. Other major export markets include Eastern Europe (mainly Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria), the United States, and Africa. Shipments to the United States rose nearly 7 percent in 1996, totaling 8,267 tons. For 1997, total leaf exports are expected to decline to around 107,000 tons. Much of this decline is due to an expected reduction in the level of re-exports of Greek and Spanish leaf.
Italy's leaf imports totaled 27,952 tons in 1996, down 12 percent from 1995. These imports, however, include imports of EU tobaccos (mainly Spanish and Greek tobaccos) which are imported for further processing and then re-exported. If this tobacco is eliminated from the trade figures, Italian imports of leaf tobacco are expected to show a slight increase in 1996. This rise is due to an increase in the production of foreign cigarette brands under license. Other than imports from the EU, major suppliers of leaf tobacco to Italy include the United States, the European Union, Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Imports from the United States decreased 5 percent in 1996 to 6,908 tons. For 1997, Italy's total leaf imports are expected to decline slightly to near 25,000 tons. Much of this decline is due to lower production of domestic cigarette brands which will limit leaf imports.
The Netherlands: The Netherlands is not a significant leaf exporter with shipments of 11,517 tons in 1996. Since the Netherlands does not grow tobacco domestically, all leaf exports are re-exports. Markets within the European Union account for nearly half of Dutch leaf exports. Nearly 90 percent of the Netherlands leaf exports are flue-cured and dark air-cured type tobaccos. For 1997, exports are expected to total about 7,000 tons. Holland is a significant leaf importing nation. Dutch imports of unmanufactured tobacco in 1996 reached 97,368 tons, 9 percent higher than 1995. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased cigarette production for export. Over 90 percent of Dutch cigarette output is destined for the export market, mainly to markets within the EU. Consequently, fluctuations in cigarette export demand have a profound effect on cigarette output and subsequently on the level of leaf imports. For 1997, Dutch leaf imports are expected to remain near current levels, totaling 97,500 tons.
France: France is not a major leaf tobacco exporting country. In 1996, leaf exports totaled 11,182 tons, up about 12 percent from 1995. Flue-cured tobacco accounted for more than half of French leaf exports in 1996, followed by burley and dark air-cured tobaccos. Intra-EU trade accounted for nearly 70 percent of Frances leaf exports in 1996 with Germany being the main market within the EU. Other export markets for French leaf tobacco include the United States and the Philippines. For 1997, Frances unmanufactured tobacco exports are expected to remain near current levels, totaling 12,000 tons.
French unmanufactured tobacco imports for 1996 reached 29,778 tons, down 11 percent from 1995. Although SEITA no longer maintains a monopoly status in France since its privatization in 1995, it is the only tobacco processor and subsequently only tobacco importer in France. Due to its long past involvment with French producers, SEITA tends to favor domestically produced tobacco and imports raw tobacco mainly from Greece, Argentina, and Zimbabwe. France imports primarily flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos. These tobaccos are an integral component of the American-blend type cigarette which is gaining popularity in France at the expense of the traditional dark leaf cigarettes. The leading suppliers of France's leaf tobacco imports in 1996 were Greece (4,500 tons), Argentina (3,481 tons), Brazil (3,344 tons), Indonesia (2,212 tons), Turkey (2,122 tons), and Zimbabwe (1,893 tons). French imports of flue-cured and burley tobaccos are likely to remain high as blended cigarettes capture more of the domestic market. For 1997, leaf imports are expected to total around 29,600 tons.
Spain: Spain's leaf exports totaled 27,622 tons in 1996, up about 12 percent from 1995. Spanish leaf exports have remained fairly stable over the last three years but are expected to decline over time as new EU policy calls for the gradual reduction in the amount and frequency of tobacco export subsidies. The Blair House Agreement requires that subsidized EU tobacco exports must be reduced to 144,000 tons through the year 2000 from a base level of 205,000 tons. Flue-cured and burley tobacco account for nearly 97 percent of Spain's leaf exports. In 1996, most of Spains leaf exports were destined to markets within the EU, Brazil, Switzerland, South Africa, and Russia. For 1997, Spain's leaf exports are expected to decline to near 22,800 tons as lower export subsidies continue to push leaf exports down.
Spain's leaf imports in 1996 totaled 52,784 tons, up nearly 9 percent from 1995. Much of the rise was due to an increase in the production of American-blend cigarette and cigars in 1996. Dark tobacco varieties account for nearly 43 percent of the leaf imported by Spain. However, imports of these tobaccos have been declining in recent years, while imports of flue-cured and burley tobaccos have trended higher as many Spanish consumers switch toward American-blend type cigarettes. Leading supplier of Spain's leaf imports is by far the United States (58 percent share in terms of value of the import market in 1995), followed by Brazil, Cuba, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic. For 1997, Spain's leaf imports are expected to increase to near 53,650 due to higher production of American-blend cigarettes and subsequent use of foreign tobaccos, particularly flue-cured and burley.
United Kingdom: The United Kingdom is not a significant leaf exporting country. In 1996, the U.K. exported 10,489 tons of unmanufactured tobacco, up 10 percent from 1995. The United Kingdom does not grow tobacco domestically and all of their leaf exports are re-exports destined mainly to other EU markets, particularly Ireland. For 1997, the U.K.'s leaf exports are expected to remain near current levels, totaling 10,000 tons.
In 1996, the U.K. imported 166,027 tons of unmanufactured tobacco, up nearly 17 percent from 1995. The U.K.s cigarette exports have benefitted from the devaluation of the British Sterling in 1992. Cigarette production increased nearly 10 percent and pushed the demand for imported leaf higher. The Sterling is expected to strengthen in 1997 and keep cigarette production for export lower. Leaf imports in 1997 are expected to decline to almost 132,000 tons. Nearly three-fourths of the U.K.'s leaf imports are flue-cured type tobacco. The leading suppliers of flue-cured tobacco to the United Kingdom were Brazil, the EU, Zimbabwe, the United States, and India.
Norway: Imports of leaf tobacco in 1996 totaled 4,221 tons, up about 6 percent from 1995. Domestic tobacco consumption has remained fairly stable in Norway and variations in import levels usually reflect fluctuations in cross-boarder tobacco sales and efforts by the industry to change stock levels. The U.S. market share of Norway's leaf imports was 54 percent in 1996, up from 22 percent in 1995. U.S. leaf tobacco trade with Norway consists of flue- cured, burley and dark fire-cured tobaccos. For 1997, Norway's leaf imports are expected to remain near current levels. Norway exports very little leaf tobacco. In 1996, exports totaled 495 tons and are expected to remain near this level in 1997.
EASTERN EUROPE and RUSSIA
Bulgaria: Leaf tobacco exports for 1997 are forecast at 23,100 tons , up slightly from 1996 with 20,000 tons of the total being oriental type tobacco. During 1996, the United States imported only 1,398 tons of Bulgarian oriental tobacco down from 7,617 tons in 1995. The other major importers are The EU, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union countries. Tobacco imports for 1997 are forecast at 25,200 tons, down from 37,200 tons in 1995. The main types imported in 1996 were oriental and semi-oriental at 21,400 tons and Flue cured at 11,800 tons and Burley at 4,000 tons. For 1997 flue cured imports are forecast at 10,000 tons, barley at 5,200 tons and oriental at 10,000 tons. The United States remains a minor supplier. Imports for 1997 are down only about 12,000 tons while production is up 28,000 tons. The expanded tobacco supplies are needed for expanded local domestic cigarette production. Reforms in currency, increased privatization of industry, higher international credit rating, and increased foreign investment are expected to make next year more prosperous.
Hungary: Tobacco leaf imports in 1996 were 19,000 tons with the US share at 1000 tons. Imports for 1996 were up 13 percent due to drop in domestic production due to drought reduced yields. A recovery in tobacco production is forecast for 1997 and imports are projected to fall to 13,000 tons. Tobacco imports exceed domestic production because of the rising cigarette production. To maintain cigarette production Hungary has kept annual leaf imports at nearly 14,000 tons. Hungary has not expanded tobacco production because of high domestic costs. Hungary also wants to keep tobacco production viable because of the prospects of EU membership and CAP programs.
Romania's unmanufactured tobacco imports in 1996 increased to 8,000 tons. The main suppliers were Italy, Greece, Moldova, China, and Albania. Romania has not imported U.S. leaf tobacco for more than ten years. Reportedly the price is too high. Romania has a serious shortage of foreign exchange which limits the amount of tobacco imported and contributes to the preference for lower cost suppliers. Also, as an associate member of the EU, tobacco from the EU is subject to a preferential duty rate. Because of severe domestic shortages, Romania did not exported any tobacco during 1996 and it is not anticipated that any will be exported in 1997. For 1997, Romania is expected to import about 7,500 MT of tobacco
Russia: Leaf tobacco imports account for almost all of the tobacco consumed. Russian tobacco production small in the Soviet period, is less than 1000 tons. The cigarette tobacco industry is dependent on foreign investment which is further protected by high tariffs and taxes on processed tobacco product imports . Leaf tobacco has a 5 percent duty and 20 percent VAT which is refunded after it has been processed into cigarettes. During 1996 leaf imports declined 16 percent, due in part to higher world tobacco prices last year. For 1997, imports are expected to recover to 1995 levels reaching 150,000 tons. Normally over half of imports are from the CIS countries with India, Greece, China , and Bulgaria the other major suppliers. Russian exports fell from 2,260 tons in 1995 to 1,750 tons in 1996. For 1997 , trade is forecast to fall to only 700 tons. Almost all these exports are to CIS states.
Yugoslavia: Due to reduced domestic production, Yugoslavia's tobacco imports continued to trend upward in 1996. Imports have been preliminary estimated at 7,000 MT, compared to 5,500 MT, in 1995. It is estimated that 6,500 MT (93 percent) were imports of flue-cured tobacco while the rest (500 MT) were Oriental tobacco. According to trade sources, major exporters of flue-cured tobacco to Yugoslavia during 1996 were: Poland, India, Zimbabwe and Bosnian (where controlled by Bosnian Serbs). Except for the last source which barters its tobacco for Serbian cigarettes, these imports are normal commercial transactions. As in 1995, imports of Oriental tobacco originated from Macedonia. Opportunities for U.S. tobacco exports are relatively weak because U.S. leaf is not price competitive with leaf from Poland, India and Zimbabwe. Total Yugoslavia tobacco exports (Burley to Macedonia) is unofficially estimated to have declined to 200 MT in 1996. The low level of exports can be attributed to reduced supplies of tobacco for both domestic use and exports. For the same reasons, Yugoslavia's leaf exports are projected to total 200 MT in 1997, unchanged from 1996.
Egypt: There is a major market for leaf tobacco in Egypt because of the large tobacco processing industry. Domestic tobacco growing has been illegal since the 1800's. Total leaf imports for 1997 are estimated at 41,500 tons with 1,500 tons from the United States. This is down from 52,000 tons imported in 1996 with near 2,000 ton imported from the United States. Flue cured is the major type of tobacco imported. For 1997, flue cured is expected to account for 48 percent, burley 24 percent, and oriental 14 percent. These types are mainly for cigarette production while other types are imported only for water pipe tobacco mixtures. Cigarettes are produced by the Eastern Tobacco Company, a state monopoly, but the Government of Egypt has sold a large share of the company to private investors. Water pipe tobacco accounts for about a third of imports and about half the processors are private companies.
Turkey: Leaf tobacco exports almost all oriental for 1997 are forecast at 121,000 tons, down 29 percent from the 169,703 tons exported in 1996, but near the level of export reached in 1995.. The sharp rise in exports in 1996 were do to two factors low export prices and reduced oriental tobacco supplies in other exporting countries. The United States was the largest market for Turkish oriental tobacco taking 44 percent. The EU and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states are the other major buyers taking 38 percent. Turkey has an expanding modern blended cigarette industry and imported 34,000 tons of flue cured and 15,000 tons of burley last year because local production of flue cured and burley remains limited. For 1997 flue cured imports are forecast at 38,000 tons with the US share at 71 percent and burley 18,000 tons with the US share at 78 percent.
China: Tobacco Leaf production in 1996 reached 2.9 million metric tons, up 26 percent from 1995 due to both increased plantings and more favorable weather which resulted in higher yields. Exports of unmanufactured leaf tobacco for 1996 fell to 60,156 tons, down from 68,413 tons in 1995 and 72,010 tons in 1994. The main buyers in 1996 were Indonesia, United Kingdom, Germany and Russia. Flue cured tobacco accounts for 95 percent for production and 86 percent of exports. Exports for 1997 are forecast at 75,000 tons due in part to the expected build up in tobacco stocks. Imports for 1996 increased from 8,554 to 13,652 tons. Imports for 1996 were over 70 percent flue cured with Zimbabwe accounting for over 95 percent of the total. Zimbabwe also accounted for 60 percent of non-flue imports. For 1997 imports are expected to decline to 10,050 tons due in part to expanded domestic stocks and improved domestic tobacco quality.
India: Tobacco leaf exports from India were up 52 percent during 1996 to 118,000 tons. Much of this increase was due to increased exports to Russia for their very profitable cigarette industry. Exports to Russia could be increased if the tobacco quota under Ruble/Rupee Indian debut repayment system could be expanded. The exchange rate under the program helps to discount the price of Indian tobacco. Russians are also buying Indian tobacco from re-exporters outside the quota system. Exports for 1997 are expected to continue strong because of the Russian demand for Indian tobacco. Sales were also up to the United Kingdom, Nepal, Germany, and Belgium the other largest buyers. Flue-cured exports increased from 54,375 tons in 1995 to 84,000 tons in 1996, while dark air-cured and sun-cured exports increased from 18,885 to 29,000 tons. Exports of both types are expected to continue strong in 1997. Imports are minimal, falling from 420 tons in 1995 to 70 tons in 1996.
Japan: Leaf tobacco imports usually exceed domestic tobacco production, and exports are normally less than 600 tons per year. Japanese tobacco production is in long-term decline because aging farmers are not being replaced. Leaf tobacco imports fell from 115,072 tons in 1995 to 85,634 tons in 1996 which may be due in part to the 26 percent increase in imported tobacco prices last year. For 1997, imports are forecast to increase to 96,000 tons. The United States is the major source of Japanese leaf imports with 35,747 tons in 1996, down 29 percent. Of the US tobacco types imported, flue-cured accounted for 23,505 tons and burley 13,381 tons. Brazil was the second largest supplier to Japan with 16,836 tons, down 9 percent, followed by Zimbabwe with 7,021 tons, down less than one percent. Imports from Malawi showed the largest decline among the major suppliers, falling over 50 percent. Overall, flue-cured tobacco accounted for 45,869 tons of Japanese total leaf imports, burley 17,957 tons, and oriental 8,427 tons.
Philippines: A major tobacco producer, Philippine leaf imports are in the 3,000 to 4,000 ton range. Long term prospects or tobacco leaf imports are poor because domestic cigarette production is in decline due to competition from imported brands. Leaf exports were up to 14,064 tons in 1996 from 11,019 tons in 1995. The rise in sales may be due to increased demand for the bland low nicotine style tobaccos grown in the Philippines. Exports are forecast to fall this year due to an expected 30 percent decline in tobacco production. Last years typhoon damaged seedlings for this years crop. Some farmers have replanted tobacco while others have planted alternate crops. In addition to planted area being down, yields are also forecast lower due to disrupted planting.
Thailand: Total exports increased from 20,865 tons in 1995 to 29,777 tons in 1996 and are expected to increase to 31,150 tons in 1997. Flue-cured exports were about 8,500 tons during 1995 and 1996, and a slight increase is expected in 1997. Burley exports increased from 7,447 tons in 1995 to 16,337 tons in 1996 with further increases expected in 1997. Thailand imports quality US tobacco for domestic cigarette production. U.S. burley at about 4,000 tons per year accounts for all burley imports, and US flue-cured accounts about 60 percent of the annual 6,000 tons imported of that type. Imports of flue-cured from other sources is usually mixed with higher quality Thai flue-cured and then exported, while the flue-cured imported from the United States is used domestically.
Zimbabwe: Total exports of leaf tobacco for 1997 are forecast at 189,000 tons, down 8 percent from earlier forecasts, but up 7 percent from 1996. Tobacco production, almost all flue-cured for 1997 is currently estimated at 198,700 tons, down 4 percent from the 1996. Much of this decline is due to a 20 percent drop in tobacco yields due to a prolonged wet spell during the summer which also reduced crop quality. Flue-cured prices for 1997 are down 22 percent to $2.30 per kilogram. This is due both to reduced quality and expanded world supplies. Flue-cured exports during 1996 reached 183,136 tons. Total sales to Europe accounted for 57 percent with 43 percent going to the EU. The Far East took 22 percent and markets in the North America and South America took 8 percent. Domestic use has remained only slightly over 3,000 tons for the past several years, with one third of the domestic cigarette output going into the export market.
Malawi: Tobacco production for 1997 is estimated at 152,700, up 7 percent 1996. Most of Malawis tobacco output is burley type tobacco, totaling 127,000 tons. Burley is popular in Malawi because it less expensive to cure than flue-cured and most of the tobacco farms are relatively small-scale operations. Malawis total leaf exports are estimated at 113,720 tons in 1997, up 12 percent from 1996. Malawi does not import leaf tobacco and domestic consumption is minimal. Most of Malawis leaf tobacco is exported. Exports of burley tobacco totaled 73,067 tons in 1996 and are expected to reach 92,000 tons in 1997. The largest export markets for Malawi in 1996 were the United States at 20,738 tons, and the EU at 20,500 tons. Malawis flue-cured exports totaled 16,351 tons in 1996 and are expected to total 15,000 tons in 1997.
Prepared By: Dan Stevens; Pete Burr; Arthur Hausamann; and Arnella Trent, Cotton, Oilseeds, Tobacco, and Seeds Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, (202) 720-9497.
Table A: World Leaf Exports by Exporting
Table B: World Leaf Imports by Importing Country
Table C: Top Flue Cured Exporting Countries; Table D: Top Burley Exporting Countries
Table E: Top flue Cured Importing Countries; Table F: Top Burley Importing Countries