Tobacco rakes in $77.3 million

Post was last updated: June 17, 2019

By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Kaisi Sadala

Earnings from tobacco, Malawi’s major forex earner, have reached $77,324,088.13 (about K58 billion), figures from regulator, Tobacco Commission (TC) show.

The revenue has been generated from sales of 54,389,889 kilogrammes (kg) of all types of tobacco within eight weeks.

The amount is, however, 37 percent lower than the $122,631,998.07 (about K92 billion) realised during same last year.

The volume traded is 27 percent lower than the 74,591,656 kg sold in the same period last year.

In week eight, average tobacco price was seen at $1.42, 14 percent shy of the $1.64 recorded in week eight last year.

TC Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala, said the development was perpetuated by lower volume of flue cured tobacco that has reached the market.

“In the coming weeks, we expect the trend to normalize because we expect more flue cured tobacco to be sold. You might also notice that trading was mostly done on auction market, where, basically, prices are lower than on contract market, so we expect traded volume to pick up as well as the revenue,” Sadala said.

Speculation has it that the country may not realise more than what was earned last year as buyers were forced to buy tobacco upfront when the market was saturated with excess tobacco.

Last year, buyers bought 202 million kg of tobacco at $330 million, when the initial demand was projected at 171 million kg.

This year, market demand has gone down to 151 million kg but the country is projected to produce about 205 million kgs of all types of tobacco.

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