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Tobacco rakes in $129.7 million

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Kaisi Sadala

Revenue from tobacco hit $129.7 million at the end of week 13 of sales after trading about 85.4 million kilogrammes (kgs), figures from AHL Group show.

During same time last year, the country sold about 104.5 million kg of all types of tobacco, realising $155.1 million.

This represents an 18.2 percent decrease in sales volume and a 16.4 percent drop in seasonal earnings. .

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While attributing the overall drop in sales and volumes to the Covid-19 pandemic, Tobacco Commission Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala, said the decline in tobacco supplies on the contract market could be attributed to a number of factors.

This season tobacco output is estimated at 154.6 million kgs which is 6.6 percent lower than last year’s 165.6 million kgs.

By far, tobacco remains Malawi’s top foreign exchange earner, although its share has been falling sharply in the past ten years in response to changes in prices and weather conditions, and most recently, due to the global anti-smoking campaign championed by the World Health Organisation.

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In 2014, Malawi realised $361 million from sales of 192 million kilogrammes (kgs) of all types of tobacco, which declined to $337 million in 2015. But output was static.

As at close of the 2018 marketing season, the country earned about $336 million against $212 million of 2017 after selling 106 million kgs.

In 2019, the country sold 165.6 million kgs of all types of tobacco, raking in $237 million.

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