Cigarette black market grows to over 17 pc in March

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The black market in tobacco increased by 1.6 percentage points in March 2018, as compared to January 2018, to 17.2 percent of total consumption, Novel Research study shows.

Also, in the first quarter of this year, the average illicit trade is 16.4 percent, 0.7 percentage points higher than the similar period in 2017.

”Four of the eight regions in the country record significant increases in illicit cigarette trade in March. The northeast region continues to be most affected by the black market, with an increase of 5.5 percentage points to 43.2 percent. The most significant recovery is recorded in the western area, by 9.3  pp up to 27 percent,” the study reveals.

Increases in illegal trade were also recorded in the southwest of 6 pp up to 19.9 percent, and in the southeast by 3.5 pp up to 16.4 percent.

The so-called “cheap whites” – foreign-sounding brand names made solely for the black market – accounted for 55.9 percent of all smuggled cigarettes.

The share of illegally produced tobacco products in Moldova is decreasing by 11.1 percentage points in March compared to January, to 21.2 percent.

The inflow of illicit cigarettes from Ukraine is slightly increasing (2.7 pp, up to 15.6 percent), contraband from Serbia stayed flat, according to Marian Marcu, Novel Research’s director.

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