Latest Cigar Import Figures Show Continued Growth

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Imports of premium craft cigars continue to impress. The latest figures showed a 17% increase for August, with the biggest gains coming from the Dominican Republic.

Dominican shipments soared in August, rising 39% to 12.7 million units. The country is home to big brands like Arturo Fuente, La Gloria Cubana and La Flor Dominicana.

Nicaragua, the top cigar producer for the US market, recorded a 5.6% gain to 19.3 million cigars. This is where Padrón, Oliva, Plasencia and so many other brands are rolled.

Honduran shipments increased by 15.5% to 7.9 million cigars. The Central American country is home to brands such as Punch and CLE.

For the first three quarters of 2021, imports of premium cigars increased by 48.5%. With a full quarter of reporting remaining in the year, imports stood at 294 million cigars, oh so close to the magic number of 300 million. For nine consecutive years, cigar imports have reached or exceeded 300 million units, and this streak is certain to continue.

In 2020, 361.3 million cigars were shipped to the United States. If the most recent growth rate can be maintained – a big enough if – the final number of imports for 2021 could exceed 500 million units. But that’s not likely, as the end of 2020 saw incredibly robust import numbers, numbers that would be hard to match later this year.

Still, cigar industry executives say sales are booming in 2021.

“The industry is now growing in a way we haven’t seen since the boom,” said Sathya Levin of Ashton Distributors. “We want to maintain this momentum for as long as possible.”

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