This year's Procigar Festival 2017, which celebrated its 10th year, was held from February 19th through the 24th. Established in 1992, Procigar is an association of the most traditional and experienced cigar manufacturers in the Dominican Republic formed Procigar. The objectives of the organization are to defend, protect and divulge the good name of the land of Cigar Country, the number one exporter of premium cigars in the world.
The Festival was capped off with a press conference, which highlighted the following:
Manuel "Manolo" Quesada, Jr. of Quesada Cigars stated that this year’s crop will be of outstanding quality, claiming that “the fields are looking excellent" and is forecasting for "a wonderful crop again at the end of the season" with "some good things coming down the road.” GREAT NEWS HERE!
Hamlet Espinal, GM of Tabadom Holding, Inc. (a member of Procigar), provided a report on the development of sales in international cigar markets, claiming that although the total sales of premium cigars in 2016 were flat, a more than 5% decrease in European sales was offset by an increase in the US and global duty free sales. Sales in Asia were also increased by approximately 5%
Hendrik Kelner, President of Procigar, Association, provided an overview of the evolution of the tobacco industry of the Dominican Republic withe following statistics:
The Dominican Republic became the largest exporter of premium cigars to the US 40 years ago at a volume of 33.7 million cigars
Dominican cigar exports climbed up to 209.3 million cigars during the "cigar boom"
Today, Domincan cigar exports approximately 150 million cigars per year and remains the biggest producer of handmade cigars in the world