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Auction floors ready for 2014 tobacco selling season

2014 Tobacco selling season in Ph begins

Auction floors ready for 2014 tobacco selling season
Auction floors ready for 2014 tobacco selling season

QUEZON CITY, Philipinnes – Tobacco growers in Northern Luzon are now ready to reap from hard work put in the farms as the 2014 tobacco trading season begins early this month for Burley and native tobacco.

Trading season in Virginia tobacco-growing areas in Ilocos started as early as third week of February, the National Tobacco Administration said in a statement.

With the P6 increase for floor prices across all grades for Virginia and P3 to P10 increase for Burley and native tobacco, the NTA and other stakeholders are optimistic the season will be a success.

The rate of high-grade Virginia leaf (AA) is now P78, while P61 and P66 for high-grade Burley and native, respectively.

At least 66.6 million kilograms of locally grown leaf tobacco, with a farm-gate value of P4.6 billion were traded with major buyer firms, according to agency’s data as of December 2013.

The NTA has announced that it has granted request for official opening of 11 registered/licensed trading centers on the early weeks of trading seasons in Ilocos provinces.

The agency through its Regulation Department, in compliance with the Rules and Regulations on the trading of locally grown leaf tobacco, has issued licenses to 54 trading centers, 21 of them for Virginia type in Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and La Union.

The agency has also issued Permit to Purchase to 10 wholesale tobacco dealers, and certificates of authority (COA) to buy leaf tobacco to 288 field representatives.

NTA chief Edgardo Zaragoza said the agency was satisfied by the state of preparedness of stakeholders ahead of the opening of the trading floors.

The agency had conducted a month before the trading season an orientation seminar in Candon City on the rules and regulations on the trading, wholesaling and redrying of locally grown leaf tobacco.

The orientation seminar is a prerequisite for applications for licenses or permits to buy or redry leaf tobacco, and Certificate of Authority to the tobacco traders, trading center operators and field representatives.

Zaragoza said there is plenty of room for growth of local production of tobacco, and he is optimistic that with an increase share in the excise tax of tobacco, and continued commitment of buyer-firms and manufacturers to purchase all the farmers’ produce for the crop year, local production will remain high.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.