Tobacco Import Trends and Policy

Declining global cigarette production coupled with the introduction of new tobacco products and technologies requiring less tobacco leaf continues to reduce demand for U.S. tobacco. Domestically, another factor that is currently eroding the demand for U.S burley tobacco has been the increasing use of imported leaf. In recent years, U.S. tobacco manufacturers have been importing around 120 million pounds of foreign burley annually – close to the size of a typical U.S. burley crop and accounting for approximately 2/3 of total burley use in the U.S. market. Slumping U.S. burley exports totaling around 60 million pounds annually in 2016 and 2017 has resulted in a U.S. burley trade deficit averaging 60 million pounds annually for the past two years.

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