After an increase in the Internal Consumption Tax on tobacco in January 2021, there was a further rise in prices in April, building on the increase from the previous year. This had a particularly pronounced effect on volume sales of cigarettes, leading to declines.
With the closure of borders in 2020, the share of illicit trade declined to 13.9% (down from 15.
The mid-priced segment remained dominant within Moroccan cigarettes, particularly following the price hike in 2021. Despite share gain for premium cigarettes, some consumers of Marlboro and Davidoff traded down to brands which offer high-quality cigarettes but at a more affordable price, such as Camel.
Despite male domination, the number of female cigarette smokers in Morocco is on the increase due to the growing number of women in the formal workplace. While women comprised just 3.
Société Marocaines des Tabacs continued to dominate cigarettes in 2021. The company enjoys strong expertise and awareness of the local tobacco market, with it previously holding a monopoly.
According to trade sources, 71% of cigarettes smoked in Morocco contain 14 mg of tar, and almost 96% of cigarettes sold in Morocco do not abide by the international 10-1-10 standards (10 mg tar, 1 mg nicotine and 10 mg carbon monoxide). This includes leading brands such as Marquise and Winston, which both contain 14 mg of tar.
Cigarette sales were already suffering because of three consecutive tax increases – in January and April 2021, and then in January 2022 – with the last price increase mainly impacting low-cost segments. As of January 2022, the state will apply successive increases for each year until 2026 and a major reorganisation of consumption tax, with the ultimate aim of reducing the price gap between premium and economy brands.
High-tar cigarettes will continue their downward trend over the forecast period. This can be explained not only by the new law due to come into force by 2024, obliging all players to abide by international 10-1-10 norms, but will also be attributed to growing health awareness and effectual anti-smoking campaigns carried out by the government.
Illicit trade witnessed fluctuations since the emergence of the pandemic, with sales considerably diminishing in 2020 due to border closures, while demand substantially improved in 2021 with the reopening of borders and strained disposable incomes. This explains that despite government efforts, which will boom over the forecast period, illicit trade will likely pull further sales away from retail cigarettes.
It is not only illicit tobacco that is expected to gain sales from retail cigarettes, but the growing expansion of perceived less harmful alternatives such as e-vapour products and heated tobacco will also place pressure on demand. While e-vapour products are becoming increasingly visible in stores, the entry of Iqos heated tobacco in November 2021 will also prompt many consumers to switch to these alternative categories.
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RETAIL SALES OF DUTY PAID CIGARETTES The definition of cigarettes for the purposes of this study is duty-paid, machine manufactured white-stick products. This does not exclude brands of cigarettes that do not use white paper but it is designed to exclude the volume of non-machine manufactured products such as bidis/beedis (India) and papirosy (Russia), and other smoking products made with tobacco but that either do not resemble cigarettes as recognised in the US or Europe, or those that are not machine manufactured. The exclusion of these products is intended to give a more accurate picture of the "true" market for cigarettes and cigars which has been distorted in official statistics and published reports because of the inclusion of hybrid products. NB Please note that due to its central importance and integration into the industry mainstream, Indonesia’s market data does include hand-rolled kreteks DUTY-FREE sales are excluded from retail sales, as are herbal cigarettes. ILLICIT TRADE CIGARETTES Not included in retail sales, but split out separately in volume terms only. Defined as non-duty paid cigarettes (includes smuggled & counterfeit/fake products combined). Legitimate cross-border sales are considered duty-paid. Sales arising from a foreign national purchasing cheaper cigarettes in bulk in a neighbouring country for personal use and exported back are attributed to the country where the purchase is made (e.g. bulk cigarette sales by British nationals in France are attributed to France).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Cigarettes research and analysis database.
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