India: Tobacco Auctions Gather Pace in AP

Tobacco auctions in Andhra Pradesh have gathered momentum and till now 78 million kgs of the crop has been sold on the floors in the State at an average price of Rs 121 a kg, according to the Tobacco Board chairman, K. Gopal. 

He said the trade participation was good on all the floors and all grades of tobacco were currently being sold. 

“At least 15-20 companies are participating in the auctions. The highest price realised so far this season was Rs 176 per kg on the floors of West Godavari, known as the northern light soil (NLS) floors. Farmers are bringing all grades, but the middle grade and low grade tobacco is finding many takers on the floors at present,” he said. 

Gopal said that after the introduction of e-auction system on the floors “there are no hitches in the process and the farmers are also happy with it. They have got used to it.” 

He expressed happiness that farmers were getting good prices on the floors. The average price on the northern light soil (NLS) floors was Rs 136.34 a kg, and southern light soils (SLS) Rs 114.63 a kg, sothern black soils (SBS) Rs 114 a kg and northern black soils (NBS) Rs 107.6 a kg. The tobacco grown on the light soils fetches a much higher price than the crop on the black cotton soils. 

Roughly, a quantity of 100 million kgs more is to be sold on the auction floors in the State and the auctions may go on till the end of July. There is a provision to extend the time, if necessary, but “we will try to finish it. Ideally, the auction process should be completed in 100 days. We will strive to achieve the objective in the coming years.” 

He said the crop outlook in Karnataka was good and the authorised crop size in that state was 104 million kgs. Enditem