After three years of notably poor tobacco harvests, Cuba is finally having a good year.
Previous predictions suggested that this would be a bumper crop for the nation and the numbers coming in suggest it. The Chinese state agency Xinhua reports that Cuba has harvested 24,000 tons of tobacco, including 19,000 from Pinar del Río, the best harvest in over a decade for the growing region.
A good crop is critical for Cuban cigars, which have experienced supply issues due to a shortage of tobacco, notably wrapper, in recent year. Given the production process of cigars, those problems will likely persist for at least another year, but the 2016/2017 crop will eventually provide some relief in the Habanos S.A. supply chain.
The 2012 and 2013 crops were notably poor due to excess rain. While 2015 was described as the “beginning of the tobacco recovery,” it did little to curb the effects of consecutive poor crops.
Last year wasn’t any better with record rains in January forcing many farmers to pull up already planted crops and start over from scratch.
Given the chaotic nature of Habanos S.A., it’s not always clear what’s causing delays or supply issues, but Habanos S.A. has acknowledged, in some cases, that the crop was directly affecting the supply, notably with the Cohiba BHK.