Tobacco Commission (TC) Executive Director, Dr Chidanti Malunga

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-This year’s green gold marketing season is set to be closed on August 18, 2021, according to Tobacco Commission (TC).

In a press statement made available to The Maravi Post , the commission says closing day for tobacco deliveries is on Monday, August 16, 2021.

This means that the market will close after 18 weeks of sales this year.

The news comes a week after the commission said it would keep the Lilongwe and Mzuzu auction floors open indefinitely as it kept tabs on tobacco volumes still reaching the markets.

Limbe and Chinkhoma markets closed earlier last month.

“The Tobacco Commission wishes to inform all tobacco growers, growers associations, commercial graders, transporters, tobacco buying companies and the general public that the 2021 tobacco sales operations for Lilongwe and Mzuzu floors will close for deliveries and sales on August 16 and August 18, 2021 respectively.

“The commission is therefore advising all stakeholders to take note and adhere to the dates in order to effectively wind up the operations. The commission is grateful to all stakeholders for the successful tobacco marketing season,” reads TC statement signed by its Chief Executive Director, Dr Chidanti Malunga.

Meanwhile, figures from AHL Group show that, after 16 weeks of sales, the country has realised US$188.6 million from the sale of 116.2 million kilogrammes (kg) of all types tobacco at an average price of US$1.62 per kg.

The earnings represent a 17.7 percent increase when compared to US$160.2 million realised during the same period last year after selling 104.9 million kg at an average price of US$1.53 per kg.

It further represents a nine percent rise in earnings when compared to the $173 million dollars realised at the end of the 2020 tobacco selling season.

Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) Trust Chief Executive Officer Nixon Lita rated the market as mixed.

Lita told The Daily Times that with output lower than demand this season, expectations of a good selling season were high, only to meet a high rejection rate especially on the auction side.

“Although prices were relatively higher than in 2020, the low production was expected to bring much better returns than recorded; especially knowing it is a second year running with below-demand production,” he said.

On outlook into the next production season, Lita said farmers were registering for production.

Tobacco remains Malawi’s major export crop but there have been headway made on the market for some legumes and pulses in recent years.

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