Habanos Says Cuban Cigar Production Unaffected By Storms

While back-to-back hurricanes wreaked havoc on Cuba's tobacco lands this month, causing billions of dollars worth of damage to the island, Habanos S.A. says that Cuban cigar production will be able to meet 2009 demand.

"We think that for at least the next year we should not have great difficulties with the supply of cigars because luckily for us, we have a reserve of raw material," said Habanos vice president Manuel Garcia, quoted in a September 24 article by Reuters.

Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, which struck within days of each other, destroyed or damaged a combined 5,000 curing barns and affected finished cigar tobacco, although sources in Cuba say that wrapper tobacco was not damaged. No crops were in the fields or in the curing barns at the time.

Garcia, according to Reuters, did say that the Cuban cigar industry would need an injection of cash to help in the rebuilding efforts.

Habanos is the worldwide distributor of Cuban cigars, and is 50 percent owned by Britain's Imperial Tobacco PLC.

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