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Wine and Spirits Lift as Beer and Cigarettes Fall
Embargoed until 10:45pm  –  21 February 2005

Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2004  –  Media Release

The volume of beer available for consumption in the December 2004 year decreased by 0.2 percent compared with 2003, while wine increased by 5.9 percent and spirits increased by 9.4 percent. The total volume of alcoholic beverage increased by 1.9 percent in the December 2004 year, according to Statistics New Zealand. Cigarettes were down 2 percent from the previous year.

Beer provided 70 percent of the alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2004 year, compared with 83 percent in the December 1994 year. Beer with a strength of 4.35 percent or less, the most common strength of beer available in New Zealand, accounted for 74 percent of the beer available, compared with 92 percent in the December 1994 year.

Bottled beer made up nearly half of domestically produced beer in 2004, returning to a level last seen in 1982, from which it had fallen to a low of 21 percent in 1992. By contrast, bulk (tap) beer, which accounted for almost half of the beer produced in 1991, now accounts for less than a third. Canned beer has fallen from a peak of 32 percent of domestic production in 1992 to 21 percent in the 2004 year. Domestic production provided 93 percent of the beer available for consumption in New Zealand.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks represented 11 percent of the beverage available for consumption in 2004. The share of spirits and spirit-based drinks has increased steadily from 3 percent in 1996.

The volume of spirits increased by 16.9 percent in the December 2004 year, the largest increase in spirits since 1995. The demand for spirit-based drinks continued to rise in 2004, as it has every year since 1995, but the rate of growth has been slowing since 2000.

Wine provided 19 percent of the alcohol available in 2004, up from 14 percent in 1994. Almost all the wine available was grape table wine, with fortified wines and fruit wines making up the balance. Consumption of fortified wines has been falling for many years, and has dropped from nearly 20 percent of the wine supply in 1984 to 1.3 percent in 2004. Domestic production provided 73 percent of the wine available in New Zealand.

During the December 2004 year, the number of cigarettes available for consumption was 2,320 million, down 2 percent from the previous year. The number of cigarettes available for consumption peaked at 6,346 million in 1977, and levels were generally above 6,000 million until 1984. Since then, cigarette consumption has generally been decreasing, and for the past four years the number of cigarettes available for consumption has remained below 3,000 million.

Tobacco available for consumption rose to 841 tonnes in the 2004 year, up 5.8 percent from 2003. Loose tobacco for pipe or cigarette smoking made up approximately 27 percent of the cigarette and tobacco products available for consumption.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

END

 For technical information contact:
Christine Sadler or Stephanie Prosser
21 February 2005
Cat 01.500 Set 04/05 – 140 
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz
 
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