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Description: The various types of tobacco are grown in well-defined locations where soil and climate yield a product with the desired properties. There are a large number of types of tobacco with the major growers being China, the United States, India, Brazil, Turkey and Greece. Certainly there are smaller growing regions of the world whose production is valued such as Cuba and several Central American countries. The main importers are Germany, the UK, Japan, Russia and the Netherlands. The United States is actually the largest importing and exporting nation. This is because the domestic leaf such as the high quality taste, aroma and burning qualities), flue cured and burley can be blended with foreign produced tobacco. After picking tobacco is packed and then compressed into either hogsheads or corrugated cartons. Hogsheads were long the stalwart of the industry but the wooden barrel type container (about 4-5 feet high and about 4 feet in diameter) use is greatly diminishing due to the cost of manufacturing. In lieu of the 950-1,200 pound hogshead, most shipments are being packed in 200 kilo cartons. The switch to cartons has facilitated loading, stowage within ocean containers and trailers, and perhaps most importantly, processing at the manufacturer's production lines. The major exposure to loss and damage is from water wetting, contamination and physical damage. Obviously, theft and pilferage of finished products, such as cigarettes and cigars, is problematic and has been for a number of years. Contact with water is quite troublesome mainly due to the fact that tobacco has been thoroughly dried and thus readily absorbs moisture. It will become soggy quite quickly with mold likely to settle result. This moisture tends to spread quickly throughout the tobacco as will a sour odor. This can permeate a cargo space if the tobacco is not sorted in a timely manner. However, since the tobacco is shipped in a compressed form, affected areas can be fairly easily identified and cut away thus minimizing the monetary loss. Milder forms of wetting can be treated through re-drying. Saltwater wetting is more difficult and the only safe way to ensure that only sound product is saved will be through careful segregation and culling. It should be noted that in its natural state, tobacco contains trace amounts of chlorides so a surveyor's field silver chloride test can be misleading. It is recommended that comparative tests be run between damaged tobacco versus sound product.
Index: 736
Commodity Name: TOBACCO

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