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Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2004
Embargoed until 10:45pm  –  21 February 2005
Commentary

Total alcoholic beverage available for consumption

The total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2004 year was 444.7 million litres, an increase of 1.9 percent compared with the December 2003 year. Both wine and spirits contributed to the increase. Total wine increased by 5.9 percent, spirits and spirit-based drinks increased by 9.4 percent, while beer decreased by 0.2 percent over the same period.

Beer provided 70.4 percent of the total beverage available in the December 2004 year, compared with 82.7 percent in the December 1994 year. Wine made up 18.8 percent of the total beverage, compared with 14.4 percent in the December 1994 year, while spirits and spirit-based drinks increased from a 2.8 percent to a 10.8 percent share over the same period.

Total pure alcohol available for consumption

The total volume of pure alcohol available for consumption was 29.25 million litres in the December 2004 year, an increase of 4.5 percent compared with the December 2003 year. All beverage types except fortified wines contributed to this increase. The volume of pure alcohol available from wine increased by 5.7 percent, spirits and spirit-based drinks by 12.1 percent, and the alcohol available from beer increased by 0.2 percent in the same period.

 Graph, Total Litres of Alcohol Available for Consumption.

Graph, Litres of Alcohol Available.

 

 Graph, Litres of Alcohol Available.

Wine available for consumption

The total volume of wine available for consumption increased to 83.8 million litres in the year ended December 2004, an increase of 5.9 percent compared with the year ended December 2003. Domestic production contributed 73 percent of the total wine available for consumption in the year ended December 2004. In the December 2004 year, imports of wine increased by 13.4 percent, while exports of domestically produced wine increased by 51.0 percent over the previous year.

Graph, Volume of Available Beverage - Total Wine. Graph, Volume of Wine Available.

Table wine (up to 14 percent alcohol by volume) available for consumption increased by 6.3 percent in the December 2004 year compared with the December 2003 year. Domestically produced table wine increased by 3.8 percent, while imported table wine increased by 13.8 percent over the same period. Grape table wine provided 94.6 percent of the table wine available in the December 2004 year, compared with 88.3 percent in the December 1995 year when the series began. Grape table wine represented 93.3 percent of all wine in the December 2004 year.

Fortified wine (15 percent or more alcohol by volume) has been declining for many years, and now comprises 1.3 percent of the wine available for consumption, compared with 5 percent in 1995 and 19.4 percent in 1984.

Graph, Wine - Domestic Production, Imports and Exports.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks available for consumption

Spirits and spirit-based drinks now represent 10.8 percent of the alcoholic beverage available for consumption. The total share of spirits and spirit-based drinks has increased steadily from a level of 3.0 percent in the year ended December 1996.

The demand for spirit-based drinks (those with less than 23 percent alcohol content) continued to rise in the December 2004 year, as it has done each year since 1995, but the rate of increase has slowed since 2000. Spirit-based drinks accounted for 77 percent of the volume of all spirits and spirit-based drinks in 2004.

The volume of spirits (those with more than 23 percent alcohol content) available for consumption rose to 11.0 million litres in the December 2004 year, an increase of 16.9 percent compared with 2003. This is the largest increase in the volume of spirits since the new series began in 1995.

Graph, Spirits and Spirit Based Drinks Available for Consumption.

Beer available for consumption

Beer constituted 70.4 percent of the alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2004 year, compared with 71.8 percent in 2003 and 82.7 percent in 1994.

In the December 2004 year, 92.8 percent of the beer available for consumption was supplied by domestic production. The remaining 7.2 percent was provided by imports. Exports of beer fell 5.5 percent in 2004 year compared with the previous year

Graph, Volume of Available Beverage - Beer.

The Beer Production Survey measures the volume of beer produced for sale by domestic breweries, by packaging type.

In the December 2004 year, bottled beer made up 49.6 percent of domestically produced beer. Bottled beer declined from a peak of 50.8 percent of domestic production in 1982 to a low of 20.5 percent in 1992. Since then there has been a steady increase in the proportion of bottled beer produced. In contrast, domestic production of bulk (tap) beer has generally been declining, falling from 47.9 percent of domestic production in 1991, to 29.8 percent in the December 2004 year. Canned beer constituted 3.5 percent of domestically produced beer in 1981 when the survey began, and peaked at 31.6 percent of the total production in 1992. Since then, production of canned beer has generally decreased, and amounted to 20.6 percent of the domestic production of beer in the December 2004 year.

 Graph, Volume of Beer by Alcohol Content.  Graph, Beer Production by Packaging Type.

Change in beer by pure alcohol content

The volume of beer available for consumption with an alcohol content of more than 5.0 percent increased by 10.9 percent in the December 2004 year compared with the December 2003 year. By contrast, beer with an alcohol content of 2.5 to 4.35 percent decreased by 3.2 percent. This shift in demand towards beer with a higher alcohol content has been evident over the past few years.

Beer with an alcohol content of more than 5.0 percent has increased from 0.4 percent of beer available in 1994 to 7.7 percent in 2004. Total beer with an alcohol content of more than 4.35 percent has increased from a share of 8.5 percent in 1994 to 26.2 percent in 2004. Beer with an alcohol content range of 2.5 to 4.35 percent has declined from 89.2 percent of the volume of beer available for consumption to 72.6 percent over the same period.

Graph, Percentage Change in Volume of Beer Available by Alcohol Content.

Cigarettes and tobacco available for consumption

During the December 2004 year the number of cigarettes available for consumption fell to 2,320 million, a 2.0 percent decrease. This follows a decrease of 16.0 percent in 2003.

The number of cigarettes available for consumption in the year ended December 2004 is the lowest recorded since the series began in 1973.

The number of cigarettes available for consumption peaked at 6,346 million in the 1977 year. In the period from 1975 to 1984, the level of cigarettes available for consumption was generally in excess of 6,000 million. 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 number of cigarettes available for consumption has been below 3,000 million for the last four calendar years.

Tobacco available for consumption rose 5.8 percent to 841 tonnes in the year ended December 2004, compared with the year ended December 2003. This followed a decrease of 1.8 percent in the year ended December 2003 compared with the year ended December 2002. Loose tobacco for pipe or cigarette smoking constituted approximately 27 percent of the volume of cigarettes and tobacco made available for consumption in the December 2004 year.

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.

Graph, Cigarettes Available for Consumption. Graph, Tobacco Available for Consumption.

For technical information contact:
Christine Sadler or Stephanie Prosser
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

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