Tobacco sales at the Mzuzu Floors are set to open today, a month after the official opening of sales for the 2017 Tobacco Marketing Season, authorities have confirmed.
Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) had delayed the opening of the Mzuzu Floors from May 3 due to low inflow of tobacco bales.
In an interview yesterday, TCC acting chief executive officer David Luka said stakeholders expect consistent flow of bales.
He said: “We now have enough bales, but we will start with 2 000 bales. We have put enough stock to allow flow of the market for the next few weeks so that we shouldn’t stop and wait for stocks from farmers.”
He said the floors allow 5 000 bales per day. The floor had just 2 404 bales of tobacco as of yesterday.
Meanwhile, Luka has described this year’s marketing season as far much better than the previous year.
He said the average price for this year is high at $1.80 a kilogramme (kg) as compared to last year’s $1.23 per kg.
According to Luka, the rejection rate is minimal at slightly above 20 percent coupled with no congestion on deliveries and no market stoppages.
In its weekly tobacco market commentary published in the press, AHL Group also said the reduction of auction burley tobacco offered for sale on all markets is due to low deliveries.
Tobacco merchants this year demanded 150 million kgs of the leaf while the growers have produced about 124 million kgs.