Cuba’s domestic cigar monopoly Habanos SA said Tuesday that China kicked Spain out as its largest market last year, but rising demand for Asian giants couldn’t make up for the decline in sales elsewhere, and the world Said sales were down 4% to $ 507 million.
Havanos said in a statement that the pandemic’s restraint on travel last year had a serious impact on demand from tourism-dependent countries and sales in duty-free shops.
Cuban hand-rolled cigars, including brands such as Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas, are considered by many to be the best in the world.
Habanos usually holds festivals at the beginning of the year for wealthy tobacco lovers and retailers, during which they tour plantations and factories, gather at night and smoke Cubans at luxury parties.
However, this year Cuba is tackling the worst outbreak of COVID-19 and other countries are struggling to control the infection, so we are hosting a three-day virtual event that started on Tuesday. “2020 was a challenging year not only for our business, but for humanity as a whole,” Havanos said in a statement.
Cigars are one of the largest exports of the Cuban economy, shrinking 11% last year as the cash crisis worsened due to a pandemic and increased US sanctions.
The Caribbean island cannot sell its signature exports to the United States, the world’s largest market for cigars, due to a US trade ban decades ago.
According to the statement, Europe remains Havanos’ top regional market, accounting for 50% of sales and 16.2% in Asia Pacific.
The state-owned Cuban news agency quoted Havanos officials at the event on Tuesday, saying sales in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region increased by 2% and 10%, respectively. However, revenues fell 31% in Africa and the Middle East and 21% in the Americas.
China Becomes Cuba’s Top Market for Legendary Cigars-SABC News
Source link China Becomes Cuba’s Top Market for Legendary Cigars-SABC News