Argentina: Argentine total leaf production for 2001 is estimated at 101,000 metric tons, down 12 percent from the previous year. This five year low is attributed to weather problems and a 6-percent drop in area planted. Leaf exports are expected to increase marginally in 2001 as stocks fall almost 9 percent. AR1033.
Germany: Cigarette production continues to grow in 2001 as a result of increased demand in the European Union and is forecast to reach 208 billion pieces in 2001, up slightly from a year ago. Cigarette exports are estimated to reach 91 billion pieces in 2001, compared to 90 billion pieces in 2000. GM1017.
Philippines: Leaf production is estimated at 68,300 metric tons in 2001, compared to 75,189 tons a year ago. This 9 percent drop is due to early season rain which pushed yields for 2001 lower. Sources expect that imports will increase slightly in 2001 in order to make up for the leaf deficit. RP1028.
Poland: Smuggled tobacco products continue to negatively impact the tobacco industry. Sources estimate smuggled cigarettes account for 15 percent of total cigarette sales. Since 1999 legal cigarette production dropped by 26 percent because of the encroachment of illicit brands in the Polish market. As a result of the 26-percent drop in cigarette production, tobacco manufacturers purchased less unmanufactured tobacco, both domestic and imported. Leaf production is forecast to remain stable in 2001 but has dropped by 40 percent since 1999. PL1015.
Taiwan: Taiwanese cigarettes continue to lose market share to imported brands. The market share of local brands was down 4 percent in 2000 compared to the previous year. Cigarette imports, especially Japanese and German brands are expected to increase by 4 increase in 2001. As a result of decreased demand for domestic cigarettes, cigarette production is forecast to decline slightly to 20 billion pieces in 2001. TW1020.
World Auction Updates:
Malawi: Malawis Tobacco Control Commission reported that 23.8 million kg of burley tobacco was sold after five weeks of the auction season for an average price of US$1.14 per kg, up 23 percent in volume and up slightly in value from the same period a year ago. However, flue-cured sales so far have dropped by nearly 25 percent in volume and 58 percent in average price compared to same period a year ago.
Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Update: Zimbabwes Tobacco Marketing Board reported that 36.3 million kg of flue-cured tobacco were sold after eight weeks of the auction season for an average price of U.S.$1.93 per kilogram. This is down nearly 4 percent in volume and up nearly 78 percent in average price from the same period a year ago. The seasonal rejection rate was 12 percent lower than the corresponding period in 2000.
USDA Announces Importer Assessment Rates for Flue-Cured Tobacco: USDA announced assessment rates effective July 1, 2001 on unmanufactured flue-cured tobacco imported for consumption at five cents per pound. The assessment rates are the same for domestically-produced flue-cured tobacco and will remain in effect through June 30, 2002. PR#263.