The Tobacco Auction went away with the buyout in the early 2000s but South Carolina is bringing it back.
“Bringing the Tobacco Auction back is a way to give another option to our state’s 120+ tobacco growers. Its not a lot of growers but they put in a lot of acres. The Pee Dee is mostly associated with production, but our largest producer grows over 1000 acres of tobacco in Colleton County. The rainfall has impacted tobacco just as it has the other crops.
The auctions will occur on Wednesdays. I was there for the first one and they had four buyers. A few from NC and they were the smaller tobacco companies. The average price was just short of $2.00. We hope this will provide a good alternative for farmers.
Tobacco production is stable now. Consumption in the US is on a downward trend but internationally its on the up trend. Our tobacco is high quality and in demand in these foreign markets. Its still an important crop to South Carolina. Having enough acreage to go through the auction process is a good sign for us.”