Originally Posted by gnatty8
So recognizing that the illicit importation of CC into the United States probably already accounts for a not insignificant chunk of total supply, I wonder how the increasingly likely ending of the trade embargo with Cuba will impact supply/scarcity, price, and quality of the average Cuban cigar? I actually prefer NC cigars to CC for the most part, so I am not terribly concerned about any impacts on me personally, but wonder what you guys think? Will demand stretch the quality control programs already in place? Actually, will this thin the market for NC as at least some demand moves into the market for CC? Interesting times.
I used to work for a major importer here in Europe and am still friends with the owner and his father.
To answer most of those questions:
The supply is already stretched as it is. Its a public secret that the cubans doubled production between 98 and 01. Which is boxes from this period can contain up to a 1/3 of plugged cigars. Currently they have caught up in the quality department (to my mind the nicaraguans still do it better) but they simply do not have the capacity to increase production a lot again.As such, the rise of China has made the supply here in Europe already a lot smaller, with limited editions becoming harder to obtain and regional editions becoming smaller..
MC market might take a small hit, but the fact of the matter is that the cubans simply do have enough cigars to fill the market, period. Which means that prices for cubans will simply go up a lot, and prices for NC's down a bit..