As smoking continues to maintain its popularity, tobacco production hubs are flourishing in Asia. These countries produce leaves that are used in cigars, cigarettes, & rolling tobacco. Currently about 1 billion people around the world indulge in some sort of tobacco product. Not including the 300 million smokers in China, around 10% of the world’s smokers live in South-east Asia. Over 15.3 million people smoke in Vietnam while over 17.3 million Filipinos smoke. Thanks to these staggering figures, tobacco production is soaring.
Demand is resounding in Asia, so it’s no surprise that they are home to multiple tobacco producing countries. These nations boast lax restrictions & perfect climates, which make them ideal for growing tobacco. While some of the main producers are obvious, many would surprise most cigar aficionados. These countries produce a massive amount of tobacco, which makes them impossible for any true tobacco enthusiast to ignore.
The sheer amount of tobacco needed to satiate Asia’s habit is absolutely shocking. As more countries implement tighter restrictions, Asia is the last bonanza for international tobacco companies. To highlight how the industry has evolved, we compiled a list of the top tobacco producing countries in Asia. These countries are creating tons of quality products that are making their way around the world. Asia’s impact on the cigar industry can’t be ignored, so discover which countries to keep an eye on!
Top Tobacco Producing Countries in Asia
Country #2: Indonesia – Thanks to appealing climates for farmers & corrupt politicians, this South Eastern nation leads the world in tobacco production. Despite declining slightly in recent years, tobacco production is still flourishing in Indonesia. In the last five years, the area planted in tobacco has dropped from 260,738 to 198,212 hectares. This massive swath of farmland is scattered throughout in Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara & East Java. Combined these regions produce a staggering 260,200 metric tons of tobacco.
This gigantic amount of tobacco fuels a thriving cigar & cigarette market across the country. Despite international condemnation, companies are allowed to openly advertise tobacco products on TV & sporting events in Indonesia. The popularity of cigars & cigarettes amongst Indonesians remains high, so this industry isn’t going up in smoke anytime soon.
Country #1: China – When it comes to tobacco production & consumption, no country can compete with China. Over the years the Chinese government has promoted tobacco production as a way to combat poverty. The effects of this campaign can be seen across the country. Boasting 20 million farmers & 300 million smokers, China is the leading consumer & producer of tobacco. This Oriental powerhouse produces nearly 40% of the global tobacco supply, which generates over $142.4 billion in revenue. In 2016, China produced over 2.8 million metric tons of tobacco. Their tobacco sales rose 2.8% last year, so production is expected to increase.