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Increases in Alcohol and Tobacco for Consumption

Increases in Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption

The total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption rose by 4.6 percent in the December 2002 year, according to Statistics New Zealand. All beverage types contributed to the increase of 19.2 million litres from the level of the December 2001 year. The total volume of alcoholic beverage made available for consumption in the December 2002 year was 434.1 million litres.

The total volume of wine available for consumption increased by 10.6 percent to 78.4 million litres in the year to December 2002. The volume of New Zealand produced wine available for consumption increased by 4.8 million litres or 9.0 percent, and imported wine available for consumption increased by 2.6 million litres or 15.4 percent. Domestic production contributed 75 percent of the wine available for consumption in New Zealand in the year to December 2002, compared with 76 percent in the December 2001 year.

Spirit-based drinks with an alcohol content of less than 23 percent have been increasing since 1995, and in the year to December 2002 rose by 11.0 percent to 31.4 million litres. Spirits with an alcohol content of more than 23 percent rose by 5.4 percent to 9.8 million litres. Spirits and spirit-based drinks now represent 10 percent of the total alcoholic beverage available for consumption, compared with 3 percent in the 1996 year.

Beer available for consumption rose 2.7 percent in the December 2002 year to 314.5 million litres.

Of the beer made available for consumption, 93.6 percent was produced in New Zealand.

Although the volume of beer available for consumption has fallen from a peak of 401.6 million litres in 1987, beer still constituted 72 percent of the total alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2002 year. The availability of beer with an alcohol content of more than 4.35 percent increased from 19.6 percent of the total in the December 2001 year to 21.8 percent in the December 2002 year. Beer with an alcohol content of 2.5 to 4.35 percent, the most common strength available in New Zealand, decreased by 0.1 percent.

During the December 2002 year, the number of cigarettes made available for consumption rose 8.0 percent to 2,817 million. This follows a decrease of 17.2 percent in the December 2001 year.

The number of cigarettes available for consumption peaked at 6,346 million in the December 1977 year. From 1985 to 1988, the level of cigarettes available for consumption was between 5,200 million and 5,700 million per year, falling to a level of 4,000 million to 4,500 million between 1989 and 1991. The level of cigarettes available for consumption has dropped below 3,000 million for the last two calendar years, compared with 3,000 million to 3,700 million between 1992 and 2000.

Tobacco available for consumption rose 3.8 percent to 810 tonnes in the year ended December 2002, following a fall of 7.2 percent in the December 2001 year. The volume of cigarettes and tobacco made available for consumption is sensitive to changes in excise duty, which may affect comparisons between years.

The volume 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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