Tobacco Commission upbeat on leaf market prospects

Tobacco Commission upbeat on leaf market prospects

Post was last updated: July 30, 2021

Tobacco industry regulator, the Tobacco Commission (TC), remains optimistic that volume of the leaf brought to the market this season would tally its earlier 120 million kilogrammes (kg) estimate.

This comes less than a month before end of the 2021 selling season.

Malawi was projected to have produced about 120 million kg of all types of tobacco this season, which remains lower than the 132 million kg market demand.

By Wednesday this week, the country had sold 110 million kg, raking in $181 million.

In an interview, TC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the commission was working tirelessly to ensure smooth flow of the market to the end.

He said all variables point to a comparatively better season this year.

“Even the average price is much better this year and this has excited many stakeholders in the tobacco industry and we believe that it has also excited growers who will go into the next season with excitement,” he said.

This far, the average price has been hovering around $1.63 per kg.

Tobacco Association of Malawi Trust President Abiel Kalima Banda said he expected prices to be better next year if supply would be below the international market demand.

Banda urged farmers to register for production following commencement of the process recently.

“Growers should register because low tobacco output will affect the country’s economy. Therefore, farmers should register and grow the crop because tobacco remains the backbone of the economy,” Banda added.

Lilongwe and Mzuzu auction floors are expected to close before end of next month.

Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.

He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.

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