Business

Tobacco rakes in K174 billion

TERESA NDANGA

With a day before this year’s tobacco selling season closes, Malawi has so far realised $232.26 million (about K174 billion) from sales of the green gold.

The proceeds are from the sale of about 160.87 million kilogrammes (kgs) of all tobacco types from all the country’s tobacco floors.

This year’s earnings are comparatively lower than that realised during the same period last year.

At the end of week 22 in 2018, the country had realised $325,148,330 after trading 192.76 million kgs of all tobacco types.

AHL Group Public Relations Manager, Teresa Ndanga, attributed the reduced proceeds this year to lower average prices and a higher no-sale rejection rate.

“The prices have improved in the latter weeks but the trend all along was that the prices were lower than those we had in the previous season.

“For instance, at the moment, the average price is $1.44 as compared to $1.68 at a similar period last year,” Ndanga said.

She also explained that the rejection rate has been declining as the season goes towards the end, but added that in the previous weeks the rate was quite high.

“From 1st to 20th week of tobacco sales, no-sale rejection rate on auction burley was higher this year compared to the rate recorded over the same period last year.

“At the moment, the rate is at 26 percent, down from around 48 percent last week,” Ndanga said.

The current marketing season ends on Friday with the closure of Lilongwe and Mzuzu markets.

Chinkhoma and Limbe Auction Floors closed on September 16 and 20, respectively.

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