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Tobacco revenue at K443.26 bn in nine weeks

Earnings from tobacco, the country’s major foreign exchange earner, have hit $258,200,437 million (about K443.26billion) in nine weeks of sales, Tobacco Commission (TC) market update have shown.

In its latest update released today, TC said 89.85 million kilogrammes (kg) of all tobacco types have been sold this year, representing a 22.9 percent increase in sales volume after nine weeks of sales compared to 73.1 million kg traded during the same period last year.

Tobacco is Malawi’s top forex earner

“By the end of week nine, the seasonal average price stood at $2.87[about K4 927] per kg, a marked increase of 25 percent this year, compared to 2.28 (about K3 914) per kg recorded during the same period last year.

“To date, proceeds from the already traded tobacco, the country has earned $258.20 million this year, representing 54 percent in sales revenue, compared to $166.7 million realised from tobacco sales during the similar period last year,” reads the update in part.

TC spokesperson Telephorus Chigwenembe said the performance of the sales this far offers a good basis to be confident that 2024 will be one of the best tobacco marketing seasons in recent times as the average price is increasing weekly.

He said: “The volumes sold in the previous nine weeks represent 64.2 percent of the projected 140 million kgs for the 2023/2024 season. We are thus hopeful that we will hit the 140 million kgs.”

“So far, we are impressed with progress of sales as we have not had market disruptions as has been the case in previous years. We attribute the smooth trading to improve prices. In addition, the rejection rate remains insignificant.”

Going by TC’s figures, the price of tobacco has increased per week since President Lazarus Chakwera opened the season at Chinkhoma Floors in Kasungu in mid-April 2024.

National Agriculture Fair