THIS year’s tobacco marketing season is expected to close at the end of July or early August according to the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC).
The market , now in its fourteenth week, has realised $172.3 million against last year’s $128 million, representing a 35 percent increase.
Eighty-eight million kilogrammes of the green gold have so far gone through the auction, an increase of six percent compared to last year’s 83 kilogrammes.
The average price is currently at $1.95 per kilogramme.
TCC Acting Chief Executive Officer, David Luka, described this year’s season as one of the best in recent years.
Luka said the first market to close will be Limbe, as already stocks are low.
“A survey we conducted two weeks ago shows that there is not much tobacco out there with the growers, hence from our estimates, we should be closing the season in two weeks’ time.
“Limbe will be the first to close, as currently, sales are being conducted based on stocks available. Trading is being done once or twice a week or once enough stocks have been accumulated to conduct a sale,” Luka said.
He further attributed the success of the season to collective efforts by all stakeholders and minimal interruptions to the sales.
“We had a smooth season not only because of the low tobacco output we had this year, but also because all stakeholders worked together and dialogue was key throughout the season,” he said.
President Peter Mutharika opened the 2016/17 tobacco marketing season in March at Kanengo Auction Floors in Lilongwe.