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Malawi’s tobacco earns US$172.3 million in 14 wks; market to close in August


LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- Malawi realized US$172.3 million for the past fourteen weeks since tobacco marketing season officially opened ?on April 10?, this year.

The earnings surpassed what was fetched last year at the same period, which was at US$128 million, representing a 35 percent increase.

This is the latest statistics obtained from the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) as of July 7, 2017 that about 88 million kilograms with an increase of six percent compared to last year’s 83 kilogram with average price at $1.95 per kg.
With the current state of trading, this year’s tobacco marketing season is expected to close at the end of July or early August.

TCC Acting Chief Executive Officer, David Luka, expressed gratitude over this year’s production season, and said, it is the best season in recent years, due to stable market with many earnings.

Luka attributed the success of the season to collective efforts by all stakeholders and minimal interruptions to the sales.

He disclosed that the Commission was conducting sales stocking taking that will assist his office to decide the time to close the market.

“A survey we conducted two weeks ago, shows that there is not much tobacco out there with the growers, hence from our estimates, we should be closing the season in two weeks’ time.

Limbe will be the first to close, as currently, sales are being conducted based on stocks available.

“Trading done once or twice a week or once enough stocks have accumulated to conduct a sale. We had a smooth season not only because of the low tobacco output we had this year, but also because all stakeholders worked together and dialogue was key throughout the season,” delighted Luka.

In 2016, a total of 194 million kgs of tobacco was sold at an average of US$1.42 per kg, in which Malawi realized US275 million. This was a drop from US$362 million of 168 million kg of tobacco sold in 2015.

Malawi has in 2017 produced 126 million kilograms of tobacco against a requirement of 150 million kgs by buyers.

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