Get 1 Year of Cigar Aficionado for Just $14.95 + A Free Gift!

Cigar Industry

Handmade Cigar Imports Continue To Surge; Seventh Consecutive Year Shipments Top 300 Million

Jan 22, 2019 | By David Savona
Handmade Cigar Imports Continue To Surge; Seventh Consecutive Year Shipments Top 300 Million

Imports of handmade cigars continued their exceptionally strong year through October. Shipments for the month rose by 18.9 percent over October 2017 levels, and by 12 percent for the first 10 months of 2018. The strong month pushed total premium cigar imports for 2018 past 300 million units, making it the seventh consecutive year premium cigar imports have exceeded 300 million cigars—and there are still two more months of data left to come in.

The growth was led by Nicaragua, which shipped 17.6 million handmade, premium cigars to the United States in October, up a shocking 37 percent from 2017 levels, according to data from the Cigar Association of America. Dominican exports were down slightly in October, to 12.1 million cigars, and Honduran shipments showed exceptionally strong growth (off a smaller base), rising 40.2 percent to 7.7 million cigars.

Nicaragua remains the top exporter of handmade cigars, with 144.2 million cigars shipped for the first 10 months of 2018. The Dominican Republic ranks second with 98.5 million and Honduras ranks third with 57.1 million. No other country is a major provider of handmade cigars to the U.S., with the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and the Philippines each shipping fewer than 1 million cigars to the U.S. in 2018.

For the first 10 months of the year, premium cigar exports were up 12 percent, to 301.1 million cigars. For the same period in 2017, 268.7 million cigars were shipped.

There are two months of reporting left for 2018 numbers to be complete, and the numbers keep trending higher. For the first half of 2018, imports rose by 9.9 percent. For the first nine months, they climbed by 11.1 percent. If this most recent growth rate of 12 percent can be maintained total 2018 total shipments could reach 370 million cigars.

More in Cigar Industry

See all
Ferio Tego Inks Distribution Deal With Davidoff

Ferio Tego Inks Distribution Deal With Davidoff

The new owner of the cigar brands once owned by Nat Sherman has just formed a distribution deal with …

Apr 13, 2021
Premium Cigar Imports Surge In January

Premium Cigar Imports Surge In January

The handmade, premium cigar market is booming.

Apr 12, 2021
Fire In Honduras Destroys Alec Bradley Tobacco

Fire In Honduras Destroys Alec Bradley Tobacco

A fire on Thursday destroyed several curing barns and greenhouses in Jamastran, Honduras.

Apr 8, 2021
Indiana Ortez Named General Manager of Mombacho Cigars

Indiana Ortez Named General Manager of Mombacho Cigars

Mombacho Cigars S.A. has appointed Indiana Ortez as general manager for its Nicaraguan operations.

Apr 7, 2021
Cuba Celebrating 55 Years of Cohiba With Virtual Cigar Festival

Cuba Celebrating 55 Years of Cohiba With Virtual Cigar Festival

The virtual Cuban cigar event is called Habanos World Days.

Apr 2, 2021
ProCigar Cancels 2021 Festival in Dominican Republic

ProCigar Cancels 2021 Festival in Dominican Republic

The 2021 ProCigar Festival in the Dominican Republic has been officially canceled.

Mar 31, 2021