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Alcohol Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  21 February 2011
Technical notes

What this release measures

The statistics in this release are a measure of the quantities of alcoholic beverage released to the domestic market, and therefore available for consumption. The statistics do not necessarily measure actual consumption. Information is not available to measure the change in the level of stocks that may be held pending sale and therefore not yet consumed. The figures also exclude the production of alcoholic beverages by households.

This release includes statistics for beer, spirits and spirit-based drinks, and wine.

Data quality

This release was formerly known as ‘Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption’. As of 1 September 2010 the tobacco available for consumption series was discontinued to meet Statistics NZ's obligation to ensure confidentiality of published statistical information.

Data sources

The volume of alcohol available for consumption is obtained from two sources: New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) and Statistics New Zealand’s merchandise trade statistics.

Data is obtained from NZCS figures on beer, spirits, spirit-based drinks, and wine produced for local consumption on which duty has been paid; and from Statistics NZ’s merchandise trade statistics on imports less re-exports. Excluded from these statistics are domestically produced beer and wine with less than 1.15 percent alcohol content and alcoholic beverages produced by private individuals at home.

Accuracy of the data

Alcohol per person
The volume of pure alcohol available per person aged 15 years and over is calculated by dividing year ended total alcohol volumes by Statistics NZ’s quarterly population estimates.

Calculating the volume of alcohol available from beer
The volume of alcohol available from beer is calculated using the five categories used by NZCS to calculate excise duty. To convert the volume of beer available for consumption the categories are multiplied by a conversion factor as follows:

Volume of alcohol available from beer
Volume of alcohol (percent)  Conversion factor
Not more than 1.15  0.0115
More than 1.15 but not more than 2.50   0.01825
More than 2.50 but not more than 4.35   0.04
More than 4.35 but not more than 5.00  0.04675
More than 5.00  0.051
Calculating the volume of alcohol available from spirits and spirit-based drinks
The data used to calculate available spirits is expressed in absolute alcohol content. However, spirit-based beverages with an alcohol content of less than 23 percent are expressed in litres.

The volume of alcohol content in spirit-based drinks is calculated according to the five categories used by NZCS to calculate excise duty. To convert the volume of spirit-based drinks available for consumption the categories are multiplied by a conversion factor as follows:

Volume of alcohol available from spirits and spirit-based drinks
Volume of alcohol (percent) Conversion factor
Up to 2.5  0.015
More than 2.5 but not more than 6   0.045
More than 6 but not more than 9   0.08
More than 9 but not more than 14   0.11
More than 14 but not more than 23   0.18
 
Calculating the volume of alcohol available from wine
To calculate the volume of alcohol available in these wines the volume of table wine available is multiplied by 0.11 and the volume of fortified wine is multiplied by 0.18. Results of the Study of the Alcohol Content of Alcoholic Beverages conducted by the then Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) between 1976 and 1987 are used to determine the average alcohol content of table and fortified wine.

More information

For more technical information, see Information about the production statistics – alcohol available for consumption.

Timing

Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics NZ. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delays.

Copyright

Information obtained from Statistics NZ may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics NZ must be acknowledged as the source.

Liability

While care has been used in processing, analysing and extracting information, Statistics NZ gives no warranty that the information supplied is free from error. Statistics NZ shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.

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