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Tobacco rakes in $99.4 million

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Felix Thole

Malawi has realised $99.4 million from tobacco, the country’s top export crop, since trading of the green gold commenced nine weeks.

Figures from regulator, Tobacco Commission (TC), show that the country has traded 68.9 million kilogrammes (kg) of all types of tobacco, representing 46 percent of the projected market demand for the year.

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International market demand is projected at 151 million kg.

Average price was recorded at $1.44 per kg for all types of tobacco this week, compared to $1.28 during week eight.

TC Corporate Planning and Development Manager, Hellings Nasoni, said the market was stabilising, with the rejection rate ranging between 28 percent and 30 percent 70 percent during the first weeks of trading.

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“The market is going on smoothly because weekly volumes have improved from 4.5 million kg to 10.1 million kg and, currently registration for 2019/20 season started on June 17 and will close on September 30.

“Farmers should go and register at any TC office. Those on contract should discuss and agree on quota with their chosen contracted company before proceeding to register with the commission,” Nasoni said.

However, Tobacco Association of Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Felix Thole, said prices remain lower than anticipated.

“Prices for all tobacco types are subdued, though with marginal improvements each week,” Thole said.

Tobacco is Malawi’s main export crop accounting for over 40 percent of the country’s total exports.

Last year, the country realised $336 million dollars after selling 202 million kg of all types of tobacco at the markets.  

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