Syria’s Public Tobacco Company experienced a sub-par first half of 2000, with both production and export totals falling below expectations. According to Al-Baath daily, during the 1999/2000 farming season, the company purchased a total of 26,132 tons of tobacco, valued at SP 2.06 billion from local farmers.
However, during the past seven months, the company has fallen short of its objectives. The projected goal was to produce 6,837 tons of tobacco products, valued at SP 5.83 billion, but in reality some 6,177 tons were produced, with a total value of SP 5.1 billion.
Faisal Sammak, the company’s director general, has said that the Syrian Public Tobacco Company planned to export 1,250 tons of tobacco, valued at SP 87.35 million, during the first half of 2000, but was able to export only 503 tons with a valued of SP 54.9 million.
According to the report, the company has signed export contracts valued at $15 million, with both Arab and non-Arab companies.
In an effort to improve the quality of its products and decrease production costs, the Syrian Public Tobacco Company has recently adopted the use of polypropylene in its packaging process. The use of this material, as opposed to the cellophane used by the company to date, is expected to save a total of $76,000 per month.
In addition, the company has upgraded its refining facilities, at a cost of SP 200,000 per machine. –(Albawaba-MEBG)