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New Tobacco Research - What is it Telling Us?

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Euromonitor International's latest global Tobacco market research provides the latest insight on how the Tobacco industry performed in 2012 and identifies the key prospects through to 2017. The double whammy of continued global economic uncertainty and increasing tobacco control took its toll as the industry posted a year of weak growth, in which no region experienced volume increases with the solitary exception of Asia Pacific, itself bolstered by the cigarettes behemoth that is China. World cigarettes values, normally propelled by growing unit prices and consumer
uptrading, also took a battering, unprecedentedly growing by the same amount as global illicit trade volumes. With the current debate surrounding the reduced risk credentials of non-combustible products such as electronic cigarettes and their classification (pharma vs tobacco), the industry finds itself at a crossroads, pursuing cigarette alternatives whilst maintaining its cash cow.

Worldwide, 5.8 trillion cigarettes were

  • consumed in 2012, representing 0.19% growth on the previous year, though this was due to the effect of the world’s largest cigarettes market, China. Without China, the world
    witnessed a -1.7% decline in 2012 versus 2011.
  • Every region in the world, save for Asia Pacific, saw falls in cigarettes volume sales in 2012 (vs 2011), a decline expected to continue to 2017, with the sole exception of Middle East & Africa, which is expected to return to growth once political turmoil stabilises.
  • None of the BRIC markets registered cigarettes volume growth in 2012 (with the sole exception of China), a trend which will continue into 2017.
  • World cigarette value sales grew by almost the same amount in 2012 as global illicit trade volumes – at around 2.5% each. Values decreased in three regions – Western
    Europe, North America and Latin America – reflecting consumer down-trading.
  • Sales of premium cigarettes grew by nearly 10% globally in 2012, on the back of China’s double-digit premium growth, though this will not be sustained at the global level in the long term. For whilst China will grow its premium brands by nearly 30% over the next five years to 2017, world premium sales will register a 5% fall.
  • World RYO volumes conversely grew by 6% in 2012 (vs 2011), registering growth in all regions, particularly Eastern Europe where it saw double-digit growth. Growth will continue to 2017, albeit at a declining rate.
  • Sales of cigars and smokeless tobacco both saw volume declines of around 3% in 2012, affected by a combination of poor economic performance and declines in its major markets.
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