Demand for Cuban Tobacco as seen through Cuban Exports
During the nineteenth century Spain did not import the majority of Cuban tobacco, nor was most of it consumed in Spain. Spain neither consumed nor re-exported Cuban tobacco. Cuban tobacco, due to its high quality, was too expensive to be able to compete with tobacco of lesser quality which was, therefore, cheaper. The Spanish tax office preferred to take in huge amounts of money by taxing consumption in general rather than promoting Cuban tobacco. For this reason, Spain imported tobacco of mediocre and poor quality and taxed it through the government-licensed tobacconists. However, Cuban tobacco was successful as it could be exported freely in exchange for lower customs duties, thus allowing an increase in production as well as the possibility of reaching, on the international market, prices matching its quality. This paper attempts to discern how Spain grew in its colonies the world's best tobacco but did not consume it nor re-exported it. The analysis of Cuban tobacco exports reveals the most relevant aspects that influenced the consolidation of these circumstances.
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