Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 20 June 2011

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cignew6.20 We are kicking off this week on with some cigar industry news. Up first is a look at the improved outlook for Cuban cigars, which will be followed by a peek at an upcoming release from Casa Magna. Rounding things up is news regarding who will take the distribution reigns for Sam Leccia's new cigar company.

Things are looking up for Cuba's cigar industry

Most people, even if they are not cigar aficionados, tend to associate Cuba with cigars. With that being said, it's hard to imagine a fledgling Cuban cigar industry, but it was that way recently. A global financial crisis combined with the implementation of smoking bans across the world managed to put a dent into the sale of Cuban cigars, but that is appearing to change. Yes, the bans are still around, certain nations are doing better than others, but the Cuban cigar industry is now on the upswing once again, according to a recent Reuters report.

Numbers from Cuba's National Statistics Office show that 81.5 million cigars were rolled in Cuba last year, up from 75.4 million in 2009. Cuban radio reports said that 25.4 million tobacco leaves were just harvested in the nation's fertile Pinar del Rio province, up from last year's mark of 22.4 million. In 2008, over 100 million cigars were produced and 26 million Pinar del Rio tobacco leaves were harvested. As you can see, some work has to be done to reach 2008's levels once again, but the fact that there's a positive trend is promising.


What is the force behind the positive numbers? Several factors are involved, but one of the main ones is the growing demand for Cuban cigars in Asian nations, especially China. Premium, expensive cigars are very fashionable among those with newly acquired wealth thanks to the economic boom. In fact, they've become so trendy and popular that China now ranks third behind Spain and France when it comes to the consumption of Cuban Cigars.

While the current trend certainly looks good for the Cuban cigar industry, it would undoubtedly get a huge boost if its cigars were no longer banned in the United States. The trade embargo has existed for decades, putting an unfair buffer between stateside cigar lovers and some of the best cigars in the world. Instead of being able to buy Cuban cigars legally, smokers have to jump through hoops to get what they want by visiting other countries or using certain online sites. Of course, with all the new smoking bans in the United States, you have to wonder if you would get to smoke Cuban cigars even if they were made legal, but that's a whole other discussion.

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