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Half tobacco grown sold in nine weeks

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About 46 percent of the 124.5 million kilogrammes of tobacco grown this year has been sold within the first nine weeks of the 2017/18 selling season, according to figures from AHL Group.

The statistics show that the country had traded 57,162,979 kilogrammes of the leaf at the auction floors at an average price of $1.90 per kilogramme.

AHL Group Corporate Affairs Manager Mark Ndipita is optimistic that in a few days’ time, the country will have sold half of the crop produced this year.

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The AHL figures further show that within the first two months of this selling season, the country has realised over $108 million dollars.

This also gives hope to the growers who are likely to pocket good money and the trends further point to an

increase in overall annual earnings from the green gold this year.

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A comparative analysis on the volumes for this year and last year also indicates a difference of about three million kilogrammes in terms of volumes traded on the market so far.

This means the volume of tobacco sold this year is six percent higher than the amount sold during the same period last year.

However, the big difference is on the revenue and average prices.

During same period last year, the country sold 54,139,355 kilogrammes, realising slightly over $78 million at an average price of $1.46 per kilogramme.

This implies a 37 percent increase in revenue while on cumulative average price, there is a difference of 44 cents per kilogramme.

According to Ndipita, this far, the market has registered no stoppages while last year, in the first nine weeks, farmers interrupted sales due to high rejection rates and poor prices.

“This year, rejection rate has been below 20 percent while last year, we recorded high no sale rejection rates of about 70 percent, reaching even up to 90 percent at times.

“These are the indicators pointing to the fact that the performance for this year’s market in the first nine weeks and a day has been better compared to 2016 marketing season,” he indicated.

Regulator, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), is also optimistic of a good selling season this year, rating the first weeks of the sales as a success.

Malawi has this year produced about 124 million kilogrammes of all types of tobacco against the required demand of about 154 million kilogrammes.

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