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74% of tobacco sold in 18 weeks

…rakes in $211 million

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Malawi has sold about 143.9 million kilogrammes (kg) of all types of tobacco within 18 weeks, representing about 74 percent of the 193 million kg estimated to have been produced this season.

This means that about 50 million kg of the green gold are yet to be traded in the remaining weeks of sales at the auction floors.

This represents about 26 percent of the tobacco estimated to have been produced this year.

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Latest figures from industry regulator, the Tobacco Commission (TC), show that, this far, the country has earned about $211.5 million from sales of tobacco, Malawi main export crop.

The earnings are 29 percent lower than the $296.9 million realised during the same period last year.

The volume treaded is also 16 percent shy of the 171.6 million kg sold during the same period in 2018.

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Average price for the leaf was seen at $1.47.

In an interview yesterday, TC Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala, said stakeholders were conducting final assessment of remaining stock.

He said the commission would in due course advise farmers on specific closing dates for respective markets.

“It is clear that some markets will start closing early next month but we will revert as to the exact dates. In terms of revenue, the country may realise slightly lower than last season owing to reduced average price this year compared to last season,” Sadala said.

However, he said the commission would be in a position to give a clear revenue estimate by end of second week of September, saying some growers were yet to bring their tobacco to the market.

This year’s tobacco production has exceeded demand by 43.82 million kg, a situation which could provide buyers with some room to negotiate for lower prices and affect the growers in the long run.

Third round of crop estimates has revealed that the country has produced 193.4 million kg against a demand of 149.56 million kg.

Tobacco Association of Malawi, a growers’ representative body, recently said market prices were already subdued this season.

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