Hopes high as tobacco revenue, price improve


Tobacco industry players have expressed optimism that the tobacco season will remain favourable this year as both revenue and price continue to improve since the market opened four weeks ago.

Stakeholders say the performance this far points to a possible rise in annual income from the leaf.

By the end of week four, the leaf had raked in $42.9 million from sales of 20.3 million kilogrammes (kg) of all types of tobacco.


This is compared to $2.8 million revenue the green gold fetched during the same time last year after selling 1.6 million kg.

Average price also improved from $1.75 per kg as at week four last year to $2.11.

In an interview Tuesday, Tobacco Commission Public Relations Officer Telephorus Chagwenembe said prospects remain high for increased annual revenue.


“We commend tobacco buyers for being consistent in offering better prices this far. The prices this far suggests that 2023 will be a very successful tobacco selling season,” Chigwenembe said.

Tobacco Association of Malawi Trust President Abel Kalima Banda said farmers would love to see more improvement on prices for they are to make the most of their toil.

Tobacco remains Malawi’s top foreign exchange earner but revenue has been on a downward spiral in the past decade.

This comes as the country continues to grapple with forex scarcity.

Financial Market Dealers Association (Fimda) feels the money tobacco is raking in remains less on the market which is charecterised by glaring mismatches between forex supply and demand.

Fimda President Leslie Fatch said the country should work towards finding complementary export commodities.

Figures he provided show that Malawi’s monthly import bill stands at around $250 million.

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