World Unmanufactured Tobacco Production, Supply and Distribution
China, the United States, India, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and Greece, when combined account for nearly three-quarters of the world=s unmanufactured tobacco production. China is by far the leading producer with leaf output of almost 3.5 times the United States or over 37 percent of world output. The Chinese State Tobacco Monopoly Administration announced goals to balance tobacco production and consumption within the next three years. China is forecast to produce 2.3 million tons of leaf tobacco in 1999, down nearly 20 percent.
Total unmanufactured tobacco production in the United States is expected to decline to 635,029 metric tons, down 9 percent in 1999. This nine percent decrease in leaf production is the result of a 19-percent reduction in the tobacco quota. Flue-cured output is estimated to reach 324,363 metric tons while burley should reach 271,933 tons in 1999. Flue-cured and burley leaf are the leading tobacco types grown in the United States, accounting for about 95 percent of the total U.S. leaf output. India=s 1999 tobacco production is estimated at 648,600 tons, up 2 percent. Flue-cured production is to increase by 18 percent to 172,000 tons, while burley is estimated to decline by 7 percent to an estimated 91,000 tons. Last year, strong prices and export demand, coupled with low prices for competing crops encouraged farmers to expand planted area. Brazil leaf production in 1999 is forecast to increase by 8 percent or 569,999 tons. Sources are attributing this 8- percent increase to normal weather conditions and good crop management. Zimbabwe is excepted to decrease production about 14.3 percent to 192,025 tons as compared to 223,977 tons in 1998. Post reported that the drop in production is the result of the industry goals to reduce production in line with international demand and to reduce high carryover stocks. In Greece, total leaf production is to drop slightly in line with their EU assigned quota, which is 130,500 metric tons. And Indonesian tobacco production is set to rise in 1999 as the demand rises from their cigarette industry. Indonesian leaf production is estimated at 210,000 tons, up nearly 4 percent in 1999.
The world=s top unmanufactured tobacco consuming nations are China, the United States, India, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil. Chinese leaf consumption is to remain relatively constant at 2.3 million tons. Germany=s and Japan is also expected to remain constant. However, Brazil domestic consumption is projected to increase up 2 percent in 1999 as cigarette production grows.
The world=s leading leaf exporting nations are Brazil, the United States, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Turkey, and Greece. Brazil, the world largest leaf tobacco exporter, is expected to export 318,000 tons, up nearly 6 percent in 1999 due to higher domestic availability and lower export prices. Sources are projecting that Brazil will be a tough competitor on the world market in 1999. In the United States, leaf exports in 1999 are estimated to reach 2150,000 tons, up slightly. The United States top export markets are the countries in the European Union (particularly Germany) and in the Far East ( particularly Japan).
The United States, Germany, the Russian Federation, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are the world=s leading unmanufactured tobacco importing nations. In 1999 the United States general leaf imports are expected to total about 215,000 tons, down nearly 13 percent.
In Germany, leaf imports are forecast to remain constant at 220,000 tons in 1999. Post reported that the Russian Federation is buying less expensive leaf from the U.S. and buying more cheaper tobacco from the CIS and developing countries such as India. Leaf imports are forecast to drop to 165,000 tons, down nearly 18 percent in 1999.
World unmanufactured tobacco stocks levels are projected to decline by 11 percent in 1999. The 11- percent reduction is the result of an aggressive program by the Chinese to lower stock levels. The Chinese goal for 1999 is to lower stocks by 12 percent or to total 2.4 million metric tons. Since leaf production is forecast to drop by 9 percent and imports are to drop by 19 percent, sources are forecasting that stocks will drop by about 8 percent in 1999. China and the United States together account for over half of the world=s leaf tobacco stocks.