Exporting of the Cuban cigar continues its decline to record low sales of $218 million dollars in 2009 according to Cuban officials. Production was also significantly down as Cuba worked through its inventory and left many tobacco fields dormant producing only 73 million units down from 217 million in 2006. The Cuban cigar business has been hit with a triple whammy of smoking bans, a global economic recession and cash poor Cuba’s limited resources.
Cuba enjoys a 70% market share of the cigar market even though it is not allowed to sell its cigars to the U.S. consumer. Cuban brands like Cohiba and Montecristo are considered the finest in tobacco products especially amongst aficionados.