By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
Figures released by the Tobacco Commission (TC) have shown that Malawi has realised $138,922,011.05 from sales of the country’s major export crop, tobacco.
The revenue was generated from sales of 94,053,354 kilogrammes (kg) of all types of tobacco at an average price of $1.48 within the first 12 weeks of trading.
However, the proceeds are 32 percent shy of the $204,152,312.66 realised during the same period last year whereas the volume is 21 percent lower than the 118,341,315 registered in 2018.
During week 12 last year, average price was recorded at $1.73.
TC Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala, said the situation was normal as the market started late and took some time to stabilise as opposed to the case last year.
“You recall when we were opening the price was $1.28 now its $1.48 still lower than the $1.73 but you can see that there is an improvement in the price.
“We saw that some of the buyers were a bit slow in uptake of their contracted volumes so they could also not participate heavily on the auction market because they have not procured the contracted volumes and on the part of the farmers they were influenced by the weather, which made them take a lot more time in preparing the tobacco but now we are doing full market capacity,” Sadala said.
Meanwhile, Sadala has said the commission would launch the third and final crop estimates study today, which will run until Friday to determine the actual volumes of tobacco the country has produced this year.
The second crop estimates projected that the country will produce 205 million kilogrammes of the green gold this year.
Tobacco remains Malawi’s major export crop.