Tobacco prices have over the past weeks witnessed a sudden increase of $5 and above per kilogramme as merchants scramble for the remaining golden leaf from farmers.

In a rare and interesting scenario for the farmers, tobacco merchants are now offering lucrative prices ranging from $4 to $5.60 per kilogramme to grab the remaining tobacco from farmers.

The buyers are jostling for the leaf which is fetching an average of $2.88 per at both auction and contract floors.

The latest development whereby tobacco prices surge at the end of the season has triggered emotions from farmers who feel shortchanged by the sudden tobacco pricing matrix.

Tobacco marketing expert David Machingaidze says what is prevailing at floors is normal because the tobacco sector is a dynamic industry which can see prices fluctuate at the beginning, mid season or at the end depending on demand factor.

More than 150 million kilogrammes of tobacco have so far gone under the hammer against the targeted 200 million kilogrammes expected this season.

With most merchants still to fulfill their market demand, experts believe the tobacco prices will remain firm until the end of marketing season owing to competition sparked by high demand of the golden leaf.