The manufacture of cigarettes and other tobacco products is becoming an increasing source of revenue for Armenia.
In 2016, Armenian manufactured US$281 million worth of cigarettes, up 23.5% from the previous year.
Last year, $209 million worth of cigarettes and other tobacco products were exported – a total of some 21 billion cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos; almost 75% of domestic production.
This is a 31% increase over 2015 in terms of the number of items exported and a 22% increase in terms of value.
While cigarette exports have shot up since 2011, imports have basically remained the same, even decreasing slightly.
2010 - $8.2 million
2011 - $16.3 million
2012 - $41.8 million
2013 - $68 million
2014 - $116.5 million
2015 - $171 million
2016 - $209 million
2010 - $65.4 million
2011 - $57.3 million
2012 - $53.5 million
2013 - $68 million
2014 - $44.6 million
2015 - $39 million
2016 - $40.5 million
Iraq remains the main importer of Armenian cigarettes – some 60% overall. Syria is also a large importer – some 16% of exports ($27.8 million worth).
Last year, Armenian cigarettes broke into the UAE market – 12.5% of exports.
Armenian cigarettes are no longer exported to Turkmenistan and Jordan.
Armenia’s entry into the Eurasian Economic Union hasn’t led to an increase in cigarette exports to that market.
Only 3% of Armenia cigarette exports go to Russia. None are exported to Belarus, Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan.
The only African country importing Armenian cigarettes in Libya - $805,000 worth.
Georgia imported $7.8 million worth of Armenia-made cigarettes.
Much smaller importers are Germany ($660,000), Lithuania ($500,000) and Poland ($87,000).
The tobacco sector in Armenia is also, due to its growth, a major taxpayer.
In 2016, Grand Tobacco Armenian-Canadian Joint Venture Ltd. (GTAC-JV) was the second largest taxpayer in Armenia, paying some 22.6 billion AMD in taxes. This amounts to a 65% increase over 2015.
There are three large tobacco producers in Armenia – GTAC-JV), International Masis Tabac and Masis Tabac.
All three belong to Grand Holding.