Malawi Kwacha still registering gains, as tobacco earns $233.8m: Inflation slows

The Malawi kwacha has opened this week on a high note as it is exchanging with the US dollar at around K320 on the market.

The commercial banks and foreign exchange bureaus are buying the dollar at K320 and selling it at K324 while peddlers on the black market are pushing to match such offers although most of the times their currencies are fake.

This is coming at a time when the so called Malawi’s green gold, tobacco, has earned the economy a total of $233.8 million from 113 million kgs so far sold until last week which was week 15 representing a sales increase of 62 percent compared with 2012.

The volume of tobacco so far sold is an increase from 66.4 million kgs which has gone through sales during the same period last year and earned $144.1 million.

Kwacha strength continues
Kwacha strength continues

The crop is attracting an average price of $2.05 per kg down from last year’s $2.16 per kg.

Market analysts have however appealed to the country’s authorities to hasten economic diversification as the kwacha would greatly drop once the tobacco selling season winds up in two months.

But government is on record to have said it will consolidate all export earnings from the budding mining industry to meet Malawi’s import needs of $188.1 million per month.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s year-on-year headline inflation rate for the month of May 2013 has further decelerated to 31.0 percent from a rate of 35.8 in April, anchored by the availability of cereals on the market and the downward adjustment in the price of fuel, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has said.

This is the third time Malawi’s inflation rate—the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising—has registered a decline this year beginning the month of March.

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