• June 25, 2024

Malawi prices plummet

 Malawi prices plummet

The [average] price paid to tobacco growers in Malawi this year fell by 16.5 percent from that of last year, according to a Reuters story relayed by the TMA.
The average prices for 2017 and 2018 were not given but last year the country’s Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) reported that, on average, tobacco had fetched US$2.00 per kg in 2017 against the previous year’s US$1.50 per kg.
On this basis, this year’s average price would have been about US$1.67 per kg.
However, there was a question mark over the 2017 and 2016 prices given last year. The story in which the TCC was quoted as saying the 2017 price was US$2.00 per kg, seemed to give the grower revenue for 2017 as US$212 million earned from the sale of 124 million kg, which would suggest an average price of US$1.71 per kg. And the 2016 revenue on the sale of 194 million kg was given as US$275 million, which suggested an average price of US$1.42 per kg. (The average price of US$2.00 per kg cannot be explained as being the average price for one of the tobacco types because the story gave the various averages as: US$1.36 for dark fired tobacco, US$1.80 for Burley, and US$2.92 for flue-cured.)
On this basis, this year’s average price would have been about US1.43 per kg.
The prices certainly seem to have been poor. Even at US$2.00 per kg, the average price was down on that of 2013, for instance, when it stood at US$2.11 per kg.
Auction Holdings Limited and the TCC were reported by Reuters to have issued a joint release that said revenues for 2018 had reached US$337.5 million, up from US$212.4 million in 2017. The reason why revenues rose by about 60 percent while prices fell by 16.5 percent was put down to a 90 percent increase in volume.
Even this year’s revenue looks miserly. Figures from the TCC show that tobacco revenue in 2010 stood at $410 million.