China Becomes No. 1 Market For Cuban Cigars: Overtakes Spain to Move Into Top Spot


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Cuba herself is a major market for Cuban cigars, traditionally a top five market, one that Habanos considers an “export” market given that the purchases are almost entirely made by tourists who take the cigars back home.

That is very interesting, I wouldn't have thought that. 

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This is probably old news to everyone but Allied Cigar did buy up a large stake last year of the global business which makes sense given the trend and market shift to Asia and China.

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12 minutes ago, Edicion said:

This is probably old news to everyone but Allied Cigar did buy up a large stake last year of the global business which makes sense given the trend and market shift to Asia and China.

It has more to do with every other syndicate pulling out as they couldn't raise finance outside ot the heavily regulated financial system that began to turn the screws on financial institutions dealing in  payments to companies associated with the Cuban military. 

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Just curious: e.g. today's PCC-sourced-Altadis Vigias, are they considered as being sold to the Spanish market? or Chinese (HK)? or Aussie?

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Just now, Meklown said:

Just curious: e.g. today's PCC-sourced-Altadis Vigias, are they considered as being sold to the Spanish market? or Chinese (HK)? or Aussie?

Spanish. 

PCC would have done a deal be it cash/swaps

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I  don't understand how Spain is so high. Reckon it's all for tourists or is the spanish locals really that far into cigars? I don't know of any super large retailers in the area. THere is ofcourse a super large retailer in Asia that we know and love, and Rob too i guess 😂

 

 

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2 minutes ago, LordAnubis said:

I  don't understand how Spain is so high. Reckon it's all for tourists or is the spanish locals really that far into cigars? I don't know of any super large retailers in the area. THere is ofcourse a super large retailer in Asia that we know and love, and Rob too i guess 😂

 

 

I think the locals, there's probably a long history there.

But I think some of the Swiss (possibly grey market) retailers get some supply from Spain.

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So that’s where the good Montecristo’s went to. I remember hearing a myth in the 90s that the best Cuban cigars at the time went to Spain.

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32 minutes ago, PuroDiario said:

Not a full perspective, but I can tell you my personal experience being born and raised in Spain, Asturias; land that give birth to García y Menéndez, Allones, to name a few cigar entrepreneurs due to important migration to Cuba in the 1800s / early 1900s and agricultural tradition among others (see Centro Asturiano de La Habana) - I know I am like a broken record with Asturias, but I have taken on the mission to compete Jose Andres the unofficial ambassador of Asturias title so please allow me the license 🤪
 

To the experience point: A story I have been told many times is how my grandfather and my relatives would all gather in the maternity wing waiting room smoking 898s awaiting for the family newborns and gift some celebration cigar to doctors and nurses, this continued until they banned it In the 90s. I grew up in cigars, seating at the family table enjoying cigars after meals from a fairly young age. High school dinners with friends we would have all have a cigar sneaked out our fathers’s humidors and pretend we were big guys with the pacharán and the cigar doing the after dinner tertulia, Sunday football game you would see people with cigars in the stadium, cigars in the bullfighting, cigars in the restaurants, cigars in every gathering essentially and every restaurant and hotel would have a proper humidor with a generally good selection. Across neighborhoods, elders would smoke few Farias a day gathering in the cafeterias to play cards or whatever If the pension did not allow for habanos, weddings is tradition the mother of bride brings some fine cigarettes and the father of the groom brings puros for all, etc. 

I am 3rd generation alive now in the family, but few years back I would be in the table in summer or Christmas with my great grandfather and his brother, my grandad, my father, and uncles and cousins all smoking cigars. When I misbehaved my grand dad would seat me down and talk to me and give me a Monte 4 or so to give me the big talk (great memories).

what we don’t have is the culture around the cigar I see in other countries, mainly Anglo of understanding the product as a consumer in full detail, and so. People just smoke puros for the most part. It’s utility value more than anything else as well as tradition.

Now it is declining vs past generations, there is no question. But still is fairly common to see the occasional cigar across generations and still all key celebrations have cigars part of them. Not sure for how long though. I always tell my wife when we land and Barajas and exit the terminal Spain smells like olive oil, garlic and tobacco (mainly cigarettes to be honest), which I kind of find fairly comforting for the most part.
 

the market is structurally different also as it is still a government controlled monopoly essentially through the estancos, which is pretty archaic as a system but works generally ok. I think this also has some influence on volumes. And then obviously tourists. There are some massive estancos in areas like Marbella, Malaga, Costa Brava, Alicante, etc. that probably sell 80% to the UK (mostly), other vacationers / retirees who then bring it back home.

 

Great story and thanks for sharing - made my day.

My Spanish friend says that back in the days, when he and his family were going to see bullfighting they would bring a cigar long enough to last for the 1,5 hours or two it would take for it to finish. They would call it a bullfighting cigar or sth, and they preferred Punch or Partagas as they were smoked outdoors and needed something a bit more robust and flavorful

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15 minutes ago, Count of Montecristo said:

So that’s where the good Montecristo’s went to. I remember hearing a myth in the 90s that the best Cuban cigars at the time went to Spain.

Probably El Pres / others can speak to this, but I see some level of consistency and minimum quality in cigars I buy in Spain different to some other countries where I have purchased. I am not sure if the tier them per market or how the process exactly works.

also remember that Altadis was the merger of former government owned businesses in Spain and France and they fully controlled tobacco in Spain, and obviously owned the partner stake in HABANOS SA, which imperial tobacco got via the infamous 22bn merger announced in 07. Some of that Spanish influence is till very present in Habanos leadership if you look at the bios of people involved. If you look it from these lenses it makes sense that back then and with China as a lower force still some sort of channeling of quality happened.

10 minutes ago, Edicion said:

Great story and thanks for sharing - made my day.

My Spanish friend says that back in the days, when he and his family were going to see bullfighting they would bring a cigar long enough to last for the 1,5 hours or two it would take for it to finish. They would call it a bullfighting cigar or sth, and they preferred Punch or Partagas as they were smoked outdoors and needed something a bit more robust and flavorful

Jajaja love it. Morante de la Puebla smokes in between his Toros. He got the latest Tauromaquia edition. 
 

I used to smoke lanceros with my father or dalias de montecristo. Good times, though bullfighting in my town is tier 2 and usually rains...mostly for show. 

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I  don't understand how Spain is so high. Reckon it's all for tourists or is the spanish locals really that far into cigars? I don't know of any super large retailers in the area. THere is ofcourse a super large retailer in Asia that we know and love, and Rob too i guess 
 
 
Cigars can only be sold in tobacconists which are state regulated, prices are fixed by the government and those shops pretty much only sell tobacco, I believe shipping outside iif spain is also illegal. I (used to) travel to a few areas regularly and there are tobacconists like this on every street corner ranging from having fully stocked walk ins to small fridges but cigars are available everywhere you turn.
Not sure if the customers are mainly tourists or locals but cigars are everywhere.
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5 hours ago, potpest said:

Cigars can only be sold in tobacconists which are state regulated

Isn't that all of at least the vast majority of the EU?  At least pricing is.  Plenty of countries have nation provided price tags on the cigars and/or boxes.

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Our Canadian group likes to laugh at the time in a single purchase we collectively bought 1.8% of the world supply of Infantes. 

Good times


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