The 2013 tobacco selling season started on 11 March and closed on 30 August. The season also experienced minimal market disruptions and rejections when compared to previous selling seasons. The Integrated Production System (IPS) recently implemented by the tobacco industry showed positive results mainly by the difference in quality between IPS crops and auction crops. Quality was in favour of the IPS crop. The selling season also saw a decrease in Non-Tobacco Related Material (NTRM) even though nesting remains a challenge.
The selling season saw positive developments in volumes sold and value realised but unfavourable in prices compared to 2012. Total volume of tobacco sold increased by 111% from 79,822,638 Kgs in 2012 to 168,667,601 Kgs in 2013. These sales managed to generate 103% more foreign exchange (US$) at $361,837,328.89 compared to $177,819,250 in 2012. For the 2013 selling season the general (country-wide) average price per kilogram for Burley was $2.02, $3.10 for Flue cured, $2.06 for NDDF and $2.07 for SDF compared to 2012 which was $2.04, $3.19, $2.09 and $2.47 respectively.
In terms of estimates and actuals, 2013 estimates were around 4% lower than actuals which is safely within the acceptance range even though NDDF was underestimated by 9%. When compared to 2012, the 2013 selling season estimation results had an outturn of 47% lower than estimations.
In Lilongwe, the Kanengo selling floors opened on 11 March and run through to 2 August. In this selling period Lilongwe experienced average per Kilogram sales of Burley of $1.95 on auction and $2.05 on contract with an average of $2.01 for both types of sales. Flue cured tobacco performed better than Burley tobacco with average sales of $2.87 on auction and $3.16 on contract with an average of $3.15 on both types of sales.
In Kasungu, the Chinkhoma selling floors commenced trading on 13 March and closed on 1 August. In this selling season, Chinkhoma saw average per Kilogram sales of Burley at $1.90 for auction and $2.05 on contract with an average of $2.06 for both types of sales. On Flue tobacco Chinkhoma saw averages of $2.72 on auction and $2.97 for auction which averaged to $2.95 for both types of sales.
In the southern region, Blantyre's Limbe selling floors opened on 18 March and closed slightly earlier than most regions on 12 July. The average per Kilogram prices of Burley at the Limbe selling floors were £1.77 for auction and $1.88 for contract. All in all Burley averaged $2.02 on both types of sales. For Flue tobacco, the average per Kilogram sales were $2.53 on auction and an incredible $3.40 on contract. Because of the impressive average sales of Flue at Limbe selling floors, it earned the most per kilogram of tobacco at the average of $3.39.
Mzuzu selling floors in the north opened on 8 April and was the last floor to close on 30 August. In this period Mzuzu performed very well with average per kilogram sales of Burley tobacco at $2.04 on auction and $2.11 for contract with an average of $2.09 for both types of sales. Again on Flue tobacco, Mzuzu saw bumper sales at $2.33 and $2.77 for auction and contract sales respectively. This averaged to $2.67 per kilogram of Flue tobacco sold at Mzuzu selling floors.
Kabwafu selling floors opened on 16 April and closed their gates on 8 August. In 2013 there was no auction sales at Kabwafu but the average sales for contract Burley was $2.33 and contract Flue was at $2.88.
This season was very successful, we managed to sell 139 million kgs against 79 million kgs in 2013 which was sold over a longer period compared to this year. We saw improved inflow of tobacco, met the demand for flue, had little or no disruption at the markets, low rejections and improved NTRM.
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