Malawi’s tobacco revenue has by the end of last week hit a total of $42.11million (K17.7 billion), a signal that this year’s marketing season will be better than the previous one.
Official statistics provided by Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) indicate that the local chief forex earner raked in a total of about $14.46 million in the sixth week while average price moved up by 13 percent to $1.86 per kilogramme from $1.64 per kg in the previous week.
So far, as of Friday last week, a total of 26.62 million kilogrammes of tobacco were sold comprising 25.64 million kilogrammes of burley and 0.972 million kilogrammes of flue cured tobacco.
According to AHL, the six weeks total weight sold of 26.62 million kilogrammes is about 200 percent above last year’s volume of 8.8 million kg of tobacco sold in the same period.
Earlier, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) spokesperson Juliana Chidumu said TCC is excited with the market performance so far and expressed hope that the trend will continue for the rest of the marketing season.
The Joyce Banda administration this year expects to rake in total revenue of over $300 million in tobacco.
Last year, both the volume and revenue from the leaf tumbled miserably to 79.8 million kilogrammes and $177 million from a volume of 236 million kilogrammes and $292 million realised in the previous year, respectively.
percent of the entire population.
However, a notable expert, Henry Kachaje, was recently quoted in the media arguing that the tobacco revenue is not enough to stabilise the free falling kwacha against the dollar.
The latest RBM’s daily financial market statistics indicate that official gross reserves as of April 12 plummeted to $168 million (0.88month import cover) from $178 million (0.95month import cover). Private sector foreign exchange reserves stood still at $242 million.