In 2018, cigarillos and fine cut tobacco were boosted by premiumisation due to improving disposable income among Belarusians. A decreasing quality of tobacco in cigarettes led to growing interest in premium tobacco quality, with imported fine cut tobacco accordingly recording the fastest volume growth.
Government regulations such as the open layout ban, prohibition regarding “taste association” and pack regulations stipulating the use of colour images of diseased organs have all to an extent negatively influenced cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco. There are many types of cigars and cigarillos, which are hard to detect and understand from a list of offered products if open layout is banned.
In 2018, local government retained tobacco importing rights, so Belarustorg GP is the only eligible state company that imports and resells all tobacco products. Once arrived in Belarus, tobacco products are sold through wholesalers and retailers.
State-owned Belarustorg remained the only importer of cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco in the country in 2018. Therefore, product assortment greatly depended on state decisions, with no other importers forecast to appear due to the great regulation required by the state.
In 2018, Belarusian cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco continued to be dominated by foreign competitors.
The widest range of cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco was available at tobacco specialists in 2018. However, the number of such specialists is limited in Belarus (nearly 70).
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