Cuba is showcasing one of the products it is most famous for.
The island’s annual Cigar Festival, which runs until March 3, draws hundreds of buyers from around the world to party and tour plantations and factories.
Cuban officials say demand is soaring, even as a combination of poorly timed rains and drought have hit tobacco crop yields over the past couple of years.
Luis Sanchez-Harguindey, co-president of Habanos SA, which distributes and exports cigars on behalf of the Cuban government, explained: “The last two years have not been good, but it has not only affected us. It has affected all producers right around the Caribbean. This year though has been fantastic and despite the poor weather conditions, we have been able to continue to increase our business.”
Sales of Cuban cigars rose five percent last year to the equivalent of 419 million euros.
Habanos, which makes brands including Cohiba, Monte Cristo and Romeo y Julieta, said it expects moderate sales growth this year as it continues to tap the Middle East, Asia and other new markets.
Sales of #Cuba legendary cigars rise 5 pct, defying flat luxury goods market, Habanos says as festival kicks off https://t.co/d5J8AgZ9lW— Sarah Marsh (@reuterssarah) February 27, 2017