Cigar Industry

Handmade Cigar Industry Continues Its Strong 2018

Dec 10, 2018 | By David Savona
Handmade Cigar Industry Continues Its Strong 2018

Imports of premium, handmade cigars continue to be robust. In September, the latest month reported by the Cigar Association of America, imports were up 21.3 percent over September 2017. Year-to-date imports are up 11.1 percent, with 263.7 million handmade cigars imported for the first nine months of the year.

This strong start for 2018 comes on the heels of a particularly strong 2017, when handmade cigar shipments reached 330 million units, the most in 19 years. The industry seems poised to mark its seventh consecutive year with imports of 300 million or more. 

Leading the way once again is Nicaragua, a country that just isn’t slowing. Despite some unrest in the country, Nicaragua shipped 14.3 million premium cigars in September, up 27.7 percent from the 11.2 million shipped in the same period of 2017. So far this year Nicaragua has shipped 126.7 million cigars to the United States.

Dominican cigar shipments also grew at a blistering pace—up 23 percent, from 9.1 million cigars in September 2017 to 11.2 million. The country has shipped 86.4 million cigars so far in 2018. Honduran shipments rose, too, albeit by only 6 percent, growing from 4.9 million to 5.2 million handmade smokes. For the first three quarters of 2018, Honduras shipped 49.5 million premium, handmade cigars.  

The big three producers—Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Honduras—account for more than 99 percent of premium, handmade cigar exports. 

There are three more months of reporting to account for, so it’s far too early to tell, but should this 11.1 percent rate of growth be maintained in the final quarter of the year, handmade cigar imports will reach 366 million units.

More in Cigar Industry

See all
TAA Cancels 2020 Annual Convention Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

TAA Cancels 2020 Annual Convention Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

The 52nd annual Tobacconists Association of America meeting and convention, which was postponed a few …

Mar 26, 2020
COVID-19: How Cigar Shops Are Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19: How Cigar Shops Are Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

With businesses shutting down across the U.S., and reports of Coronavirus multiplying with every news …

Mar 20, 2020
Multiple Cigar Factories Shut Down in the Dominican Republic

Multiple Cigar Factories Shut Down in the Dominican Republic

Tabacalera de Garcia Ltd. and General Cigar Dominicana announced today that they are closing as a …

Mar 20, 2020
Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest Postponed Until October

Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest Postponed Until October

With the Coronavirus outbreak affecting people all over the United States, the inaugural Big Smoke …

Mar 19, 2020
Drew Estate Postpones Florida Barn Smoker Amid Outbreak

Drew Estate Postpones Florida Barn Smoker Amid Outbreak

In response to the current Coronavirus outbreak, Drew Estate announced yesterday that the Florida …

Mar 19, 2020
[Update] Covid-19: Cigar Factories React to Viral Outbreak

[Update] Covid-19: Cigar Factories React to Viral Outbreak

Cuba's factories remain open despite four confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, and J.C. Newman Cigars …

Mar 17, 2020