REAL TOBACCO CONSUMPTION IN BULGARIA IS 38,000 TONS
If Bulgartabac remains as a state-owned island in a market environment it is doomed to quick liquidation, people from the branch claim. The holding will cut down the purchase of oriental tobacco, grown in the region of Nevrokop, Kurdjali, and Gotse Delchev (the Rila-Rhodopes district), where a considerable part of MRF's electorate is concentrated. If the tobacco holding follows the purely market requirements it should focus on buying the industrial varieties - Virginia and Burley - which are mostly growns in Northern Bulgaria, as well on the hybrid varieties which grow best in the northern outskirts of Stara Planina and in the Stara Zagora region. Taking into consideration domestic market demand and the available stockpiles of tobacco in the holding's warehouses, it could be said that 20,000 tons at the most would be sufficient to satisfy the needs of the Bulgarian market. Hence, this is the quantity necessary to Bulgartabac.Bulgaria's export of processed tobacco is about 7,000-8,000 tons, and so far went in two directions - to Austria Tobac (2,000-3,000 tons) and Egyptian Tobacco Monopoly (4,000-5,000 tons). Together with the tobacco which is presently purchased by Sokotab and Mihailidis, the volume that could be marketed totals 37,000-38,000 tons. At that, it should be of good quality. How will then the strategy (projected output of 70,000 tons prior Bulgaria's accession to the EU) for the development of the branch be fulfilled? No matter who Bulgartabac's owner is, it is impossible to produce such a quantity without new foreign markets. But maybe some people take into consideration the Bulgarian tobacco smuggled to Greece at BGN3/kg. The Greek claim that tobacco has been grown in Greece and get BGN7.50/kg from their country together with the financing from the EU.