An unusually heavy rainy season in Ecuador has wreaked havoc on the country’s agricultural industry, destroying many crops, including tobacco crops. This is expected to result in shortages of tobacco because demand will not be able to be satisfied – ultimately leading to what is expected to be increased tobacco prices.
Located in the northwest part of South America, Ecuador is one of the leading producers of tobacco for premium cigars in the world – especially when it comes to Connecticut Shade, Sumatra, and Habano wrappers. The volcanic soil in Ecuador makes the soil rich for growing tobacco. The country’s natural cloud cover allows for Shade-grown tobacco to be grown without cheesecloth, and it has become the world’s largest producer of Connecticut Shade tobacco.
Normally rains are much gentler in Ecuador, but this spring, the heavy rains wiped out many crops. The Ecuador Times reported that over 8,000 hectares of crops were lost due to the rains back in April. Since then, there have been more heavy rains. “This will affect the availability of Ecuadorian tobacco,” said one industry insider. “Smaller factories that don’t have large reserves of tobacco will feel the pain a lot more.”
While other countries can pick up the slack for growing tobacco – especially wrappers, this could also increase the burden on what those farms produce tobacco-wise. American and Dominican countries that normally grow filler and binder tobacco could be switching gears to grow wrapper – and this could affect the availability of those tobaccos.
While it’s still to be determined how much prices will go up, “we could be seeing $15.00 to $20.00 cigars as the norm over the next year,” mentioned another industry insider.
This will be an on-going developing story.
Originally posted on August 8, 2023 @ 7:22 am