International sales of Cuban cigars surge Cuban cigars are the island nation’s most emblematic export.

HAVANA. – International sales of Cuban cigars soared 31 percent last year, as global demand rises for luxury products.

Cuban cigars are the island nation’s most emblematic export.

Exporters say the surge represented a turnover of US$721 million.

High-end specialised products, and limited and exclusive editions were among the main drivers of the growth.

China is the largest global market for cigar exports, followed by Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK.

Cuba can’t sell its cigars in North America, the world’s biggest market, due to a 1962 trade embargo.

This surge is attributed to a growing global demand for luxury products.

“With the end of the pandemic, the luxury market in general, and the consumption of high-end cigars in particular, has experienced a very strong growth in demand in all regions,” said José Maria Lopez Inchaurbe, vice president in charge of development, on the first day of the 24th International Havana Cigar Festival.

Despite challenges, including the pandemic and the devastation caused by a hurricane in 2022, the Cuban tobacco industry is gradually recovering, offering a glimmer of hope for the island’s economy. – Agencies

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