A recent report from the Cigar Association of America (CAA), an industry trade group, found that the United States imported a total of 338.87 million premium cigars between January and September 2023. This number is only 2.61 million less than the import volume during the same period in 2022. down 0.8%.
Daniel Cotter, chief statistician at CAA, said in a press release: "By the end of the third quarter of this year, premium imports have returned to near break-even levels compared with the third quarter of 2022. Data show that compared with last year, the lowest point this year was at the end of April. As of April 30, 2023, premium imports fell by nearly 7% year-on-year."
Nicaragua remains the largest supplier of high-quality cigars to the United States, importing 181.41 million high-quality cigars in the first nine months, accounting for approximately 53.5% of total imports.
The Dominican Republic accounts for 30.7% of imports, with exports increasing for most of 2023 compared with 2022.
To exceed 2022 imports, the United States will need to import an average of 41 million cigars per month. CAA calculated the numbers based on import data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Customs Services, as well as information provided by the cigar companies themselves.