LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi has realized US$12.513 million for the first three weeks since the official opening of the tobacco marketing season, on April 10, this year.
This is latest statistics obtained at AHL Group as of April 27, 2017 and that about 7,493,333 kilograms (kgs) of tobacco of all types have been sold at an average price of US1.67 per kg.
This year’s green gold prices, started at good buying rate when compared to that of last year during a similar period, which was at average prices hovering below the US$1.5 per kg mark.
It is not a wonder that last week farmers were visibly happy with the “green-gold sales” at Limbe Auction Floors in Blantyre, over the good prices offered coupled with low rejection rates.
Sale sheets the Maravi Post sourced from farmers, show that prices range from 80 cents (MK586) per kilongram (kg) to US$2.20 (MK1,612.06) per kg.
These prices differ from those on last year’s opening day, when the leaf was pegged between 80 cents and US$1.40 (MK1,026.02).
The rejection rate this year also started at 1.8%, while in 2016, it was at 52 percent; meaning that the tobacco sales have started on a high note. Expectations are that Malawi farmers will keep on smiling all the way to the bank.
Both Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), and AHL Group, attributed the cause for better prices and low rejection rates, to proper handing and presentation of the leaf before the floors, which they said all farmers must emulate.
In 2016, a total of 194 million kgs of tobacco was sold at an average of US$1.42 per kg, in which the country realized US275 million. This was a drop from US$362 million of 168 million kg of tobacco sold in 2015.
In 2017, Malawi has produced 126 million kilograms of tobacco, against a requirement of 150 million kgs by buyers.