05:28 am - Wednesday 21 November 2018

2014 Tobacco Market open in Lilongwe

By Amalawi - Tue Mar 25, 9:01 am

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Lilongwe, Malawi: The 2014 tobacco marketing season opened yesterday at Kanengo in Lilongwe.

This years market is of great importance as Malawi government has virtually run out of foreign currency.  Donors are withholding Aid  and this has put pressure on the foreign exchange market, fuelling speculation and a weakening of the kwacha . $150 million has been held by donors, a decision made on November 7, last year, the revelations of “Cashgate” abuse of public funds at Capital Hill led to the decision taken by donors. Traditionally foreign Aid has supplemented  foreign exchange earnings from tobacco-Malawi’s main export commodity.

Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chief executive officer Bruce Munthali expressed hope that the 2014 marketing season will be one of the best in the history of Malawi.

He said as of yesterday, the market had received over 20 000 tobacco bales ready for sale. “This is bottom leaf which generally has low quality but we still expect stiff competition among tobacco buyers which should improve prices on the market,” he added.

Tobacco sales in Malawi

Tobacco sales in Malawi

Munthali also said the commission has estimated that Malawi will produce 193 million kilograms of tobacco this year with 169 million being burley tobacco, 21 million flue cured tobacco and three million being dark fired tobacco variety.

Munthali also boasts that TCC has employed adequate tobacco classifiers as well as arbitrators to help facilitating the allocation of tobacco grades and mediate price disputes between growers and buyers, respectively.

Last year, Malawi earned $362 million from 168 million kilogrammes of tobacco. A significant improvement from $177 million earned from 79.8 million kilogrammes in 2012.

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