15 Sep 2010 15:27

Russia will cut beer output 10%-15% in 2010

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) - The rate at which the production of beer in Russia is falling will pick up speed to 10%-15% this year, the Russian Brewers Union predicts.

The Union's executive director Vyacheslav Mamontov told Interfax that the production decrease is attributable mainly to the tripling of beer excises this year, which prompted prices to rise roughly 20%. Even this past summer's prolonged heat-wave, which might have been expected to spur greater beer-drinking, did not save the situation, he said. Beer consumption falls off in the fall, he added.

Russia brewed 9.9% less beer in the first half of this year, Mamontov said, while vodka production increased 5.6%. Current excise policy would seem to be shifting consumption towards hard alcohol, he said.

But the brewing sector remains one of the biggest sources of excises for the budget, Mamontov said. Beer excises came to 35.75 billion rubles in H1, almost 150% more year-on-year.

Russia brewed 1.085 billion liters of beer last year, 5.2% less than in 2008.