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Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2009
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  19 February 2010
Commentary

Total alcoholic beverage available for consumption

The total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption during the December 2009 year decreased 15.3 million litres, down 3.1 percent from 2008 to 471.1 million litres, a level similar to the December 2007 year. This is the first decline following eight years of annual increases. A fall in the volume of beer, down 16.3 million litres (5.1 percent), was the main contributor to the decline.

Graph, Total Volume of Alcoholic Beverage Available for Consumption

Total pure alcohol available for consumption

The pure alcohol available for consumption time series are a measure of the alcohol content contained within the various alcoholic beverages.

The total volume of pure alcohol available for consumption was 31.7 million litres during 2009, a decrease of 1.3 percent from 2008. The volume of pure alcohol available from wine increased 1.1 percent to 10.5 million litres, and for total spirits and spirit-based drinks, the increase was 1.8 percent, up to 8.2 million litres. The total volume of pure alcohol available from beer was 13.0 million litres, a 4.9 percent decrease.

The volume of pure alcohol available per person aged 15 years and over decreased 2.4 percent from 2008, down to 9.3 litres.

 Graph, Total Volume of Pure Alcohol Available for Consumption

Graph, Volume of Pure Alcohol Available for Consumption

Beer

The volume of beer available for consumption in 2009 fell 5.1 percent, down to 306.2 million litres. Beer is still the most popular type of alcoholic beverage in New Zealand and it contributed 65.0 percent of the total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption in 2009, down from 66.3 percent in 2008. Beer's proportion has been in decline since 1992, when its proportion of the total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption was 84.2 percent.

Graph, Volume of Beer Available for Consumption

Of the total decrease in the volume of beer available for consumption in 2009 (16.3 million litres), the major contributor was beer with an alcohol content of between 2.5 and 4.35 percent, which was down 14.2 million litres from 2008. Beer with an alcohol content greater than 5 percent decreased 2.1 million litres, and beer with an alcohol content of less than 2.5 percent declined slightly, down 0.3 million litres. Meanwhile, volumes of beer with an alcohol content of between 4.36 and 5 percent rose slightly, up 0.3 million litres.

 Graph, Volume of Beer Available for Consumption

Wine

The total volume of wine available for consumption in 2009 was 95.3 million litres, up 1.1 percent compared with the previous year. Wine contributed 20.2 percent of the total volume of alcoholic beverage available in 2009, compared with 19.4 percent in 2008.

Table wine (up to 14 percent alcohol by volume) increased by 1.2 million litres (1.3 percent) in 2009 compared with the previous year, and contributed 99.3 percent of total wine available for consumption.

The volume of fortified wine (greater than 14 percent alcohol by volume) decreased by 97,000 litres (12.6 percent) in 2009.

Graph, Volume of Wine Available for Consumption

Spirits and spirit-based drinks

The total volume of spirits and spirit-based drinks available for consumption fell slightly, down just 0.1 percent to 69.6 million litres during 2009.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks now represent 14.8 percent of the total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption. The total share of spirits and spirit-based drinks has increased steadily since 1995.

The volume of spirits (containing more than 23 percent alcohol) available for consumption rose slightly, up just 0.1 percent to 10.5 million litres in 2009.

The availability of spirit-based drinks (containing not more than 23 percent alcohol) fell slightly, down just 0.1 percent to 59.1 million litres during 2009. This decrease is the first since the series began in 1995. Spirit-based drinks alone make up 12.6 percent of the total alcoholic beverage available for consumption, and 94.5 percent of these have an alcohol content of between 2.5 and 9 percent.

In the year ended December 2009, the total volume of pure alcohol available from spirits and spirit-based drinks increased 1.8 percent. The volume of pure alcohol available for consumption from spirit-based drinks increased 3.9 percent, and that available from spirits increased 0.1 percent.


Graph, Volume of Spirit-based Drinks and Spirits Available for Consumption

Cigarettes and tobacco

During the December 2009 year, the number of cigarettes available for consumption decreased 4.5 percent, to 2.4 billion; a level similar to the 2005, 2006, and 2007 years.

Until the December 2009 year, the number of cigarettes available for consumption had been gradually increasing since 2004, although the recent peak in 2008 of 2.6 billion cigarettes was significantly less than the peak in 1977 when there were 6.3 billion cigarettes available.

In 2009 compared with 2008, the volume of tobacco available for consumption decreased 1.6 percent to 856 tonnes. Overall, the volume of tobacco has been generally increasing since 1985. This is the first time since 2003 that a decrease in cigarettes available has coincided with a decrease in tobacco available.

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

 


For technical information contact:
Scott Davis or Sarah Urlich
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Next release ...

Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2010 will be released in February 2011.

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