Republic of Azerbaijan: Tobacco and cigarette production have diminished in recent years as a result of the changing economy. Tobacco production dropped 30 percent in 1999 as farmers reportedly switched to more tradable commodities such as livestock, fruits, and vegetables. For the complete report go to: www.fas.usda.gov .
Canadian Flue-Cured Auction Update: The 1999/2000 Canadian flue-cured tobacco marketing season ended March 23, 2000. The Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers Marketing Board reports that 64,582 metric tons of flue-cured tobacco were sold. This represents a 5-percent decrease in sales when compared to the same period of last year's marketing season. Prices in Canadian currency averaged $3.56 (US$2.42) per kilogram, a slight decrease compared to last year. So far this year, sales of "A" graded leaves account for 69 percent of purchases, down 3- percent from last year.
Indian Tobacco Auction Update: The Tobacco Board of India reports that flue-cured sales are nearly complete in Karnataka (Mysore). Sales to date total 42.63 million kilograms at an average price of Rs.42.95 per kg. (US$ 0.98), compared to 35.34 million kgs. sold at an average price of Rs.32.56 (US$ 0.77) during the same period last auction season. Average prices last year were somewhat low on account of poor grades caused by heavy El Nino rains, while prices this season have improved considerably. Earlier this season, nearly 60 percent of the crop was bringing top prices for quality grades at between US$1.50 per kg. to US$1.65. Prices dropped later on though to US$ 1.25 per kg. to US$ 1.40 with a slight improvement to US$ 1.50 over the last 7 - 8 days.
Flue-cured auctions in Andhra Pradesh opened at 6 places on February 22nd, and 13 additional floors opened on March 1st. Sales however are not brisk due to poor presence of buyers reportedly on account of lack of support from the international leaf merchants. This led to protests from farmers and a temporary suspension of sales. Leaf sales are expected to resume on April 6th. Farmers and their leaders are demanding that the Indian Government allow the international leaf merchants to buy tobacco directly on the auction floors and eliminate the licensing of the cigarette industry. The Tobacco Board of India reports that the size of the crop is now estimated at 138 million Kgs., down from an initial estimate of 150 million Kgs. Heavy rains in early February has affected the crop in some areas.
USDA Announces 2000 Acreage Allotments, Price Support for Certain Kinds of Tobacco. For complete reports go to FSA PR#1448