There were 44.14 million premium cigars imported to the U.S. during September 2021 according to a report from the Cigar Association of America.
The organization says it was the third consecutive month in a row where the U.S. imported at least 40 million cigars. For context, there was not a single month in 2020 where 40 million cigars were imported to the U.S. according to the group. The strong September is a 13.12 percent increase over September 2020 when the CAA calculates 39.02 million premium cigars were imported.
Through Q3, imports were up a staggering 42.7 percent. The CAA estimates that there were 338.491 million premium cigars imported to the U.S. during the first nine months of 2021. The group estimated that 361.3 million premium cigars were imported to the U.S. during all of 2020, meaning it’s likely that the 2020 import number was surpassed sometime in October.
Nicaragua exported the most premium cigars to the U.S. in September. The group estimates Nicaragua sent 23.42 million premium cigars to the U.S. that month, a 41.2 percent increase compared to September 2020. While the Dominican Republic was the second biggest exporter with 13.1 million premium cigars sent to the U.S., those numbers are basically flat compared to 2020, a roughly 4.4 percent drop. Honduras decreased noticeably, exporting 7.6 million cigars, an 11.7 percent decline compared to the same period in 2020.
CAA calculates these numbers based on both the import numbers provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Customs Services and information from the cigar companies themselves. The trade group’s numbers are not exact because of reporting differences it estimates how many “large cigars” were actually “premium cigars.” The differences between the two are that there are some machine-made cigars that meet the U.S. definition of a “large cigar,” those cigars would not be considered premium cigars by most people.