TC confident of selling excess tobacco

The Tobacco Commission (TC) says it is confident that the 35 percent excess tobacco produced this year will be bought following on-going discussions with buyers.

In the ongoing season, buyers initially indicated they will buy 152 million kilogrammes (kg) but growers produced 205 million kg of tobacco, representing 35 percent over production.

In an interview on Wednesday, TC corporate planning and development manager Hellings Nasoni said that issues of having surplus tobacco cleared on the market is guaranteed.

Thole: Prices may not
be competitive

He said: “I can assure growers that all the tobacco will be bought. In terms of discussions with new buyers and existing ones, it is an on-going process and there is increased participation.

“We are delighted to note that there is great enthusiasm and participation from buyers giving us a signal that all the tobacco will be sold.”

Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) chief executive officer Felix Thole said in an earlier interview that excess tobacco will not be in favour of growers as buyers may not offer competitive prices, knowing they will still buy from the excess volumes.

As at week 10 of sales last Friday, tobacco raked in $109 million (about K80. 5 billion) compared to $166 million (about K122 billion) fetched in a similar period last year, representing a 34 percent slump in earnings.

In terms of volume, so far, 75 million kg of tobacco have been sold compared to 98 million kg sold during the same period last year, representing a 23 percent decline.

Last year, the country sold 202 million kg and raked in $330 million.

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