The Tobacco Commission (TC) has set August 18 as the closing date for the 2021 selling season.
This means that the market will close after 18 weeks of sales this year.
The news comes a week after the commission said it would keep the Lilongwe and Mzuzu auction floors open indefinitely as it kept tabs on tobacco volumes still reaching the markets.
Limbe and Chinkhoma markets closed earlier last month.
In an interview Tuesday, TC Board Chairperson Harry Mkandawire confirmed plans to close the market next week.
“I can confirm that we are planning to close the market by Wednesday next week,” Mkandawire said.
Meanwhile, figures from AHL Group show that, after 16 weeks of sales, the country has realised $188.6 million from the sale of 116.2 million kilogrammes (kg) of all types tobacco at an average price of $1.62 per kg.
The earnings represent a 17.7 percent increase when compared to $160.2 million realised during the same period last year after selling 104.9 million kg at an average price of $1.53 per kg.
It further represents a nine percent rise in earnings when compared to the $173 million dollars realised at the end of the 2020 tobacco selling season.
In an interview, Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) Trust Chief Executive Officer Nixon Lita rated the market as mixed.
He said, with output lower than demand this season, expectations of a good selling season were high, only to meet a high rejection rate especially on the auction side.
“Although prices were relatively higher than in 2020, the low production was expected to bring much better returns than recorded; especially knowing it is a second year running with below-demand production,” he said.
On outlook into the next production season, Lita said farmers were registering for production.
Tobacco remains Malawi’s major export crop but there have been headway made on the market for some legumes and pulses in recent years.