For the first time in the past fifty years, Cuba will make in January its first exports to the United States, following the signing Thursday in Havana of a contract by the island´s CubaExport company and the US Coabana Trading LLC to import artisanal charcoal.
Coabana Trading´s Scott Gilbert and CubaExport´s Isabel O´reilly penned the document that paves the way to further strengthen bilateral commercial relations amidst current restrictions posed by the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.
The two sides stressed the importance of the accord and their interest in expanding trade relations in the future through the exports from Cuba of bee honey and coffee, two highly demanded local products at the world market.
Cuba is ready to send the U.S. two containers with some 40 tons of charcoal on January 18. The Cuban artisanal charcoal is made from an invasive woody plant known as Marabu, which has proven very useful in pizza shops and bakeries.
The Cuban official told reporters that each charcoal ton will sell at 420 dollars, the highest price ever reached for this product. Meanwhile Scott Gilbert said that the operation will allow US consumers to know a high-quality Cuban product.
The first Cuban export to the US will take place two days before president-elect Donald Trump takes power. In this regard, the US official said they expect to work with the Trump administration in the same way they did with Obama, for the sake of increasing trade between the two countries.
CubaExport company has been exporting artisanal Marabu charcoal to seven countries over the past five years; the product considered among the best of its kind in the world.