A 2020 tobacco production second assessment report shows that Malawi is expected to produce 154.7 million kg of all tobacco types, representing a 6.62 percent decline in tobacco production.
According to the report, dated 31 March 2020, the estimates also represent 4.4 percent decline of the trade demand for this year.
The decline in production has been attributed to impact from excessive rainfall that led to leaching of crop nutrients thereby negatively affecting the crop potential and yields.
The other reason is the decrease in area under tobacco cultivation due to grower withdraw influenced by low prices experienced in 2019 marketing season.
However, the Commission claims that the decline in production will result in attractive prices this year.
“With 2020 trade demand at 161.4 million kg, the 2020 estimated production is expected to attract competitive pricing as companies will out-compete each other to satisfy their requirements.
“Regionally, the outlook shows expected reduction in production from neighboring Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe arising from erratic rainfall followed by drought experienced at critical vegetative stage of the crop,” claims the report signed by Kayisi Sadala, Tobacco Commission Chief Executive Officer.
Sadala says globally, major tobacco producing countries such as Brazil, India, China and East Asia region project a decline arising from unfavorable weather effects.
The Tobacco Commission together with its stakeholders in tobacco industry do tobacco production assessments with an objective of estimating the expected tobacco volumes to be during the marketing season.
Meanwhile, the Commission suspended the opening of the 2020 tobacco marketing season due to Coronavirus, which was declared as global health Pandemic by the World Health Organization.