Diversified group, TSL Limited suffered a sharp drop in tobacco volume at its auction floors during the quarter ending 31 July 2020 due to chaotic marketing season preparations within the industry.
However, firmer tobacco prices for the current year ensured that the Group remained profitable despite setbacks.
The 2020 tobacco marketing season got on to a rough start with the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a late start.
This was compounded by delays in approvals for the decentralization of contract floors.
“Decentralization of contract floors was announced at the onset of the tobacco marketing season. Independent auction floors have yet to secure the requisite approvals for decentralization,” the Group said.
Independent auction volumes at subsidiary, Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) reached 5.7 million kilograms, marking a 73 percent decline from prior year.
Contracted volumes handled for tobacco merchants at 7.9 million kilograms are 45 percent below the same period last year.
“Work is being undertaken with industry players to ensure a smoother tobacco marketing season in 2021,” said the company.
Volumes at Propak Hessian were down 21% due to the later start of the tobacco selling season and the decline in national tobacco crop.
The Group logistics segment saw tobacco handling volumes fall by 4 percent compared to prior year due to the late start of the tobacco selling season and delays in tobacco processing.
Volumes in the ports business decreased by 37 percent due to generally slower movement of both imports and exports owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said.
Handling volumes at Premier Forklifts were 18 percent below prior year due to the delayed start of tobacco processing.