Tobacco: Booming Industry in Nicaragua
Friday, June 28, 2019
There are 70 cigar factories in the country that produce close to 5,000 brands, and the sales they make to the U.S. surpassing the sales made in that country by companies from the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
Figures from the Cigar Association of America indicate that in 2018 Nicaragua exported 140 million cigars to the North American country, a figure surpassing the 95 million sold by companies in the Dominican Republic and the 75 million exported by Honduras. However, the goal of the Nicaraguan industry is to gain a greater presence in Europe, a market that until now has been dominated by products from Cuba.

The product is well positioned in the U.S. market, because according to the 2018 ranking of the magazine "Cigar Aficionado" in the U.S., of the ten best brands of cigars, six were Nicaraguan.

You may be interested in "Tobacco: Good Sales in Times of Crisis

Regarding the competitive advantages of the local industry, Néstor Plasencia, vice president of Plasencia Cigar, one of the top exporters, explained to that "... No one has the soils that Nicaragua has for tobacco,' with its volcanic lands."

Wenceslao Castillo, director of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco Growers, states that "... The strength of Nicaraguan tobacco is the consistency we have in quality,' which has allowed 'us to be the main exporter of premium cigars to the United States."

Given that its main market is external, the tobacco industry is one of the few that has not been affected by the political and economic crisis that the country has been going through since April last year.

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More on this topic
New Rules for Cigars in the US
July 2016
From August 8 premium handmade tobacco leaf cigars will be subject to the same regulation as cigarettes manufactured with additives.
A group of tobacco companies in Nicaragua will be holding meetings in the US with local companies who have invested in tobacco plantations and cigar factories in order to assess the impact of the entry into force of the new regulation. 
Nicaraguan Tobacco for China
January 2015
Increasing the amount of land planted, consolidating markets where there is already a presence and exporting cigars to China are part of the tobacco industry's goals for 2015.
It is expected that in 2015 tobacco exports will grow by 5% and reach new markets such as those in China, Morocco and other Middle Eastern countries, where it is estimated that cigars would be very well received. These new destinations would join the 79 countries where sales are already being made. In 2013 total exports amounted to $227 million.
Nicaraguan vs. Cuban Cigars
January 2015
The main export market for Nicaraguan cigars could change after the eventual reopening of trade between Cuba and the United States.
Nicaraguan cigars are consumed in over 70 countries worldwide, where they already faces competition from Cuban tobacco. Nicaraguan tobacco manufacturers believe that if the trade embargo is lifted and Cuban tobacco starts to enter the US market, increased competition will open up opportunities for increasing productivity in the sector and improving the product in terms of variety and quality.
Nicaragua: Cigar Exports to the U.S. Up 42%
April 2014
During 2013 sales of cigars to the U.S. market totaled $37 million, equivalent to 118.9 million units.
Nicaragua has become the second largest supplier of cigars in the United States, behind the Dominican Republic. Exports increased from $25.8 million in 2012 to $37.3 million in the last year, according to the Center for Exports.
tobacco cigars
Key entities
Plasencia Cigars Cámara Nicaragüense de Tabacaleros
tobacco industry Tobacco production plantexports exports Agriculture & Food Exports & imports Agroindustry
tobacco industry
Tobacco production plant
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