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More beverages available with less alcohol content

Embargoed until 10:45am – 22 February 2008

More beverages available with less alcohol content

The total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption reached a new high of 470.3 million litres, while the total volume of pure alcohol content fell slightly in the December 2007 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The increased volume of alcoholic beverage was due to spirit-based drinks, while the decreased volume of pure alcohol was driven by spirits.

The volume of beer also increased in 2007, up 0.9 percent with some significant movements within the beer -strength categories. Beer with an alcohol content between 4.36 and 5 percent rose just over 25 percent, while beer with an alcohol content greater than 5 percent fell nearly 40 percent.

During 2007, the volume of higher-strength wine increased, while the volume of lower-strength wine decreased leading to an overall drop in the total volume of wine, the first since 2001. Lower-strength wine made up 99 percent of the total wine available for consumption in 2007.

The number of cigarettes available for consumption was virtually unchanged during 2007 for the third year in a row, and was 61.5 percent less than the high point reached 30 years ago. The volume of tobacco rose 2.8 percent to reach 904 tonnes, a new high since the time series began in 1973.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
22 February 2008


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