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Embargo thoughts

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As a lover of the Cuban leaf, I have always thought that we get the best pricing with the embargo the way it is.

However, as a human, I do think the best thing for the people on that island would be to end it.

So here is the question...
As a cigar smoker, what impact would you foresee on the CC market if the embargo is lifted? what would that look like 10 years later?
 

Boudie

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Just can't imagine much changing with the cigar industry if the embargo is taken down. If you like Cuban cigars they are certainly available and the non-Cuban side of the industry has gotten so large it's not going anywhere.

Eventually Chuck will want to take that Cruise to Havana and the restrictions will be eased again.
 
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I’ve always assumed we would see a spike in prices and that it would make it harder to get product.
At the same time, bring on another cigar boom here in the states.
 

Boudie

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You would see a spike because of curiosity or because current smokers are honoring the embargo and not ordering Cubans?
 
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I think the curiosity would definitely be part of it, especially for those that don’t smoke on the regular. Also, the folks that don’t want to go through the trouble of sourcing.

I’m assuming that the US market could be pretty significant for Habanos to. That it could be a large demand for them (at least in the first few years) causing them to raise prices across the board.
 

Boudie

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Well in that case it may be time for me to dedicate more of my current humidor space to Habanos!
 
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This is a pretty good read:


A few numbers from the article are interesting:
Cuban cigar production by year:
1958 - 79M
1970 - 50M
1976 - 120M
Today - 150M

USA cigar "consumption" - 300M. (not sure if this includes swishers, etc)

A few thoughts:
  • Those numbers make it seem like Cuba would have to triple their production to service the American market, but I don't think much would change in the long run. There would be an initial shock, but Cuba was able to handle the early 70s increase in production from from 50 to 120M. Not sure what happened to prices during that time.
  • Demand for Cuban cigars would go up if the embargo were lifted, but probably not as much as we imagine. Angry mobs wouldn't be making runs on B&Ms to buy up all the Cubans. A few may want to get a box for their wedding, etc, but not many ppl smoke cigars and the few who do wouldn't be smoking Cubans very often for the same reason I don't smoke Padron 26's very often.
  • DR and Nicaragua are small countries themselves, and they are able to service the entire US market plus the rest of the world.
  • Another cigar boom would be driven by media influence, and I don't see that happening today. Tobacco is a pariah in modern media, and when it does get brought up things get awkward. Exhibit A:
 

Boudie

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Dude, when you really get to know Mississippi you'll realize that walking around in a dope fog helps you fit in.
 
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