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Spirit-Based Drinks Contribute To Increase

Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2001

Spirit-Based Drinks Contribute To Increase In Alcohol Available For Consumption

Spirit-based drinks were a major contributor to an increase of 0.8 percent in the volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2001 year, according to Statistics New Zealand. The volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2001 year was 3.1 million litres higher than in the December 2000 year.

A rise of 3.8 million litres, or 15.4 percent, in the volume of spirit-based drinks available for consumption reflects the increasing demand for ready-to-drink beverages. Spirit-based drinks with an alcohol content of less than 23 percent now constitute 7 percent of the volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption. The rise in the availability of the spirit-based drinks was partly offset by a decrease of 3.9 percent in the availability of spirits with an alcohol content of 23 percent or higher. Total spirits and spirit-based drinks available for consumption rose 9.9 percent in the December 2001 year compared with the December 2000 year.

Beer available for consumption rose 0.2 percent in the December 2001 year. There was a rise of 4.4 million litres, or 7.9 percent, for beer with an alcohol content over 4.35 percent. Partly offsetting this, beer with an alcohol content between 2.5 and 4.35 percent, which is the most common strength of beer available for consumption in New Zealand, fell by 3.5 million litres, or 1.4 percent, compared with the December 2000 year.

The total volume of wine available for consumption decreased by 1.4 percent in the year to December 2001. While the volume of New Zealand produced wine available for domestic consumption decreased by 5.7 percent, the volume of imported wines available for consumption increased by 15.3 percent in the December 2001 year. Domestic production supplied 76 percent of the wine available for consumption in New Zealand in the year to December 2001 compared with 79.3 percent in the December 2000 year.

During the December 2001 year the number of cigarettes made available for consumption fell 17.2 percent to 2,608 million. Cigarettes available for consumption in the December 2000 year increased by 1.1 percent, following decreases averaging more than 5 percent in the three preceding years. The volume of tobacco available for consumption fell 7.2 percent to 780 tonnes in the December 2001 year, following a rise of 14.2 percent in the December 2000 year. The volume of cigarettes and tobacco made available for consumption is sensitive to changes in excise duty, which may affect the comparisons between years.

The amount of cigarettes and tobacco available for consumption represents tobacco products cleared for local consumption on which duty has been paid. Caution should be used in interpreting these figures to represent actual consumption.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician
END


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