Americans are smoking fewer cigarettes, but the Agriculture Department forecasts increased use for American tobacco because of more sales to overseas customers.
Overall, the department said in a "situation summary" Monday, demand for U.S. tobacco is outrunning production so that stocks carried over to the new marketing year, which begins July 1, are likely to be 13 percent below last year's 3.33 billion pounds.The department said the domestic market for tobacco is up 3 percent this year because of rising U.S. cigarette production.
"This production increase is the result of big gains in cigarette exports; domestic cigarette consumption is declining," it said.
U.S. cigarette consumption is expected to post a 1.5 percent decline in the 12 months ending June 30. Cigar, smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco production also are down, but snuff production is up.
Cigarette production this marketing year is expected to be above the 654 billion produced last year.