Auction Holdings Limited (AHL), a company that provides platform for tobacco trading in Malawi through the country’s four auction floors, has said tobacco earnings have so far reached $347.5 million up from the $333 million recorded two weeks ago.
According to AHL tobacco sales statistics published in the local dailies, the dollars equate to K119 billion and the tobacco sales represent 99.81 percent of this year’s crop.
This development comes barely 4 days after the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) said tobacco auction market revenue could hit over $345 million as the selling season draws towards the end.
AHL said the market only has 322,522 kilogrammes left to be sold representing 0.19 of this year’s tobacco produce projection of 162 million kilogrammes.
But AHL said it is optimistic that it will beat the estimates by selling more than the 162 million kilos by the close of the tobacco marketing season this year.
TCC chief executive officer Bruce Munthali said last week that this year’s market has been a big success with a low rejection rate, high quality leaf and a fast moving market.
“With the high volumes of tobacco available this season, the marketing season could normally have been longer, taking even up to six months but we have seen a fast market this season,’ said Munthali.
TCC said marketing period is this year expected to be completely concluded by the end of this month with Limbe and Chinkhoma Auction Floors having already closed.
This year’s rejection rate has not exceeded five percent so far, a different trend than the previous season which saw the rejection rate hitting over 90 percent along with serial market closures due to disagreements between the farmers and buyers.
Tobacco companies last year exported 158 million kilogrammes of all types of tobacco, generating over US$543 million.