Puffed with Pride: Cuba’s Legendary Hand-Rolled Cigars See Record Sales in 2021

Cigars from Cuban luxury tobacco brand Cohiba are displayed at a tobacco shop in Hanau, Germany May 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


HAVANA, May 11 (Reuters) – Cuba’s state-owned cigar monopoly, Habanos SA, said on Wednesday it posted record sales of its famous hand-rolled cigarettes in 2021, rebounding strongly from two years of sluggishness induced by the pandemic.

Travel restrictions in 2020 due to the coronavirus have dealt a severe blow to demand from tourism-dependent countries as well as sales at major airport duty-free shops around the world, which has weighed on revenue. Read more

But Habanos said its revenue jumped 15% from a year earlier, according to a statement on its website, as vaccination programs began to take effect and some global travel resumed.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


Cuba’s hand-rolled cigars, which include brands such as Cohiba, Montecristo, and Partagas, are considered by many to be the best in the world.

The good news on sales of cigars, one of the communist-ruled country’s top exports, is a rare bright spot for Cuba’s economy, which has been hammered by the pandemic and tougher US sanctions.

Habanos said in its statement that it will also set uniform prices across all markets for its coveted premium cigars, using Hong Kong as a benchmark for pricing its signature Cohiba and Trinidad cigars.

Cigar Aficionado, a cigar industry publication, predicted that the finest Cohibas will soon exceed the price of $100 per cigar during the announcement, noting that the Hong Kong market is one of the most expensive in the world. .

“The biggest Cohibas will sell for $100 each … and boxes will no longer cost hundreds of dollars, but thousands,” the publication said in a post on its website on Tuesday.

Habanos typically hosts a festival at the beginning of the year for tobacco enthusiasts and retailers, featuring tours of Cuba’s historic plantations and factories, as well as evening social events that offer the chance to smoke out Cuban cigarettes. This year, however, the party was canceled again.

The Cuban cigar maker said Spain, China, Germany, France and Switzerland are the main markets for Cuban cigars.

The Caribbean island cannot sell its signature export to the world’s biggest market for cigars, the United States, due to the decades-old US trade embargo.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


Reporting by Dave Sherwood Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Comments are closed.