The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says merchants could earn as much as US$600 million from tobacco which they bought from growers in the 2013 growing season.
TCC Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Munthali, said the exporters have already earned US$331 million for the quarter June and September this year and that for the 12 months between June 2012 and June 2013, tobacco companies had exported 158 million kilograms of all types of tobacco at a value of US$543.2 million.
This translates into an average export price of US$3.45 per kilogram. Munthali said, however, prices of tobacco had improved on the international market and projected that the tobacco being exported could fetch an average price of US$4.13 per kilogram for the exports up to June 2014. With 80 million kilograms already exported between June and September, foreign earnings realised by companies had already surpassed half of last year’s earnings by a big margin.
Malawi’s burley tobacco, which dominates the trade, is exported to about 100 countries with Belgium as the largest market while Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain and United States are among the other top destinations. Malaw’s annual earnings from tobacco exports are forecast to reach US$700 million by the year 2017.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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