Prices dip to US$0.80 per kg

| April 10, 2018

Malawi’s tobacco growers will be hoping that the first day of this year’s sales is not a pointer to the rest of the selling season.

According to a story in The Maravi Post, day one was marred by poor prices that came in as low as US$0.80 per kg.

Growers were said to have been angry at the prices buyers were offering.

They compared these prices with the work that went into producing the tobacco and found them wanting.

This year’s selling season was opened on Monday at the Lilongwe Auction Floors by President Peter Mutharika, who urged buyers to pay good prices. But, in the past, even the urgings and threats of presidents have fallen on deaf ears.

The poor start to the season occurred even though Malawi’s all-types crop is thought to be almost 14 percent below demand, due in part to unhelpful weather in some parts of the country. Tobacco production is estimated at 147.80 million kg against a demand of about 171.00 million kg.

Inkonsi Mbwerwa, the board chair of the Tobacco Control Commission, was said to have ‘downplayed’ the low-price concerns, arguing that quality ‘contributes to its prices’.

But, at the same time, the commission was said to be optimistic that Malawi’s tobacco might fetch high prices this year because demand was above the level of supply.

Tobacco marketing is due to start on April 11 at Chinkhoma; on April 16 at Limbe; and on April 23 at Mzuzu.

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Category: Breaking News, Leaf, Markets, People

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