2022 imports start correctly

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The ultra-hot craft cigar market continues to show signs of growth. January 2022 imports, released today by the Cigar Association of America, showed a 3.8% growth from last January. Just over 21 million handmade cigars were shipped to the United States in January, up from 20.6 million in January 2021.

Nicaragua, which continues to hold the top spot, recorded strong growth of 19%, with 14.7 million cigars shipped in January 2022. This represents 68% of total shipments.

Honduras also recorded a strong increase, up 33% to 3.2 million units.

The Dominican Republic saw a sharp drop, down 40% from 5.6 million to 3.3 million, likely a hangover effect from holiday factory closures that begin in December. Getting back to normal production isn’t always a quick (or effortless) process. Cigar factory staffing has been an issue, according to cigar makers, especially cigar makers in the Dominican Republic, and shipping cigars (like so many other products) remains problematic. A month can never tell the whole story.

Last year was one of the best ever for the handmade cigar industry, with 456 million premium cigars shipped in the United States, up 25.5%. The last time imports exceeded 400 million units was in 1997.

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