Malawi has earned $44.3 million (K32.5 billion) in one-month from the sale of 29.1 million kilogrammes (kg) of tobacco, figures from the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) have shown.
During the same period last year, Malawi earned $23.1 million (K16.9 billion) from of 13.4 million kg of the leaf.
Average price stands at $1.52 (about K1 114) compared to $1.72 (about K1 260) in 2017, which TCC attributed to more volumes of burley tobacco as opposed to last year when there was more supply of flue-cured tobacco, which fetches higher prices.
In an interview on Monday, TCC chief executive officer Kaisi Sadala said growers might not be hoarding their leaf this year after being attracted by the prices.
“There is something that is attracting the growers to bring in more tobacco now,” he said.
Tobacco Association of Malawi(Tama) president Abel Kalima Banda on Tuesday agreed with Sadala that this year’s prices are much better, as tobacco merchants are not buying less than the minimum price.
According to a published AHL Group commentary, Lilongwe Floors experienced weak competition among the traditional buyers on flue and dark fired tobacco. This resulted in high no-sale rejection of 64.8 percent and 75 percent.
Last year, the country production 106 million kgs while this year, growers might produce 141 million kgs against a buyers’ demand of 171 million kg. n