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Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2005
Embargoed until 10:45pm  –  23 February 2006
Commentary

Total alcoholic beverage available for consumption

The total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption in the December 2005 year was 458.8 million litres, an increase of 14.1 million litres (3.2 percent) compared with the December 2004 year. Beer, total wine and total spirits all recorded increases. Spirits and spirit-based drinks increased by 5.7 million litres (11.9 percent), total wine increased by 5.4 million litres (6.5 percent), and beer increased by 2.9 million litres (1.0 percent) in the 2005 calendar year.

Total pure alcohol available for consumption

The total volume of pure alcohol available for consumption was 30.25 million litres in the December 2005 year, an increase of 3.4 percent compared with the December 2004 year. All beverage types, except fortified wines and spirits containing 23 percent or more alcohol by volume, contributed to this increase. The volume of pure alcohol available from wine increased by 6.3 percent, spirits and spirit-based drinks increased by 3.2 percent, and the alcohol available from beer increased by 1.5 percent.

 Graph, Total Litres of Alcohol Available for Consumption.

Graph, Litres of Alcohol Available Per head of population aged 15 years and over.

 Graph, Litres of Alcohol Available by Beverage type.

Beer available for consumption

In the December 2005 year, beer provided 68.8 percent of the total beverage available for consumption. Although the volume of beer available increased by 2.98 million litres in the 2005 calendar year, higher increases in both total wine and total spirits available meant that beer constituted a decreased proportion of total alcoholic beverage. While still remaining the most popular type of alcoholic beverage, beer has declined as a proportion of beverage available for consumption, from 97 percent in 1946 and 82 percent in 1995 to the present level.

In the December 2005 year, 91.6 percent of the beer available for consumption was supplied by domestic production. The remaining 8.4 percent was provided by imports. Exports of beer fell 11.2 percent in 2005 compared with the previous year.

 Graph, Volume of Available Beverage - Beer.

In the December 2005 year, bottled beer made up 53.6 percent of domestically produced beer, up 7.1 percent from the December 2004 year. After declining from 50.8 percent of domestic production in 1982 to a low of 20.5 percent in 1992, 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 27.1 percent in the December 2005 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 19.3 percent of the domestic production of beer in the 2005 calendar year.

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

Change in beer by pure alcohol content

The volume of beer available for consumption with an alcohol content of between 4.36 and 5.0 percent increased by 10.4 million litres (18.1 percent) in the December 2005 year compared with the December 2004 year. Beer with an alcohol content of more than 5.0 percent increased by 407,000 litres (1.7 percent). By contrast, beer with an alcohol content of 2.5 to 4.35 percent decreased by 7.9 million litres (3.5 percent).

Although beer with an alcohol range of between 2.5 and 4.35 percent still contributed the largest share (219.3 million litres or 69.4 percent) to the volume of beer available for consumption in the 2005 calendar year, this level has declined from 89.0 percent in 1995. Beer with an alcohol content of more than 4.35 percent provided 29.4 percent of the total volume of beer in 2005, an increase from a 9.3 percent contribution in 1995.

Wine available for consumption

The total volume of wine available for consumption was 89.2 million litres in the year ended December 2005, an increase of 6.5 percent compared with the year ended December 2004. Wine made up 19.5 percent of the available beverage in 2005, compared with 15.0 percent in 1995.

 Graph, Volume of Available Beverage - Total Wine

Domestic production was 66.9 million litres (74.9 percent of the total) in the 2005 calendar year, compared with 61.1 million litres (73.0 percent) in the 2004 calendar year. Over the same period, net imports of wine decreased by 1.1 percent to 22.4 million litres, while exports of domestically produced wine increased by 40.8 percent to 57.0 million litres.

Table wine (up to 14 percent alcohol by volume), which is now 98.9 percent of all wine available for consumption, increased by 5.6 million litres (6.7 percent) in the December 2005 year compared with the December 2004 year. Grape table wine, which made up 93.5 percent of all wine, increased by 5.2 million litres (6.7 percent) over the same period.

Graph, Wine - Domestic Production, Imports and Exports.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks available for consumption

Spirits and spirit-based drinks now represent 11.7 percent of the alcoholic beverage available for consumption. The total share of spirits and spirit-based drinks has increased steadily from 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 2005 year, as it has done each year since 1995. The volume of spirit-based drinks available in the 2005 year increased by 6.1 million litres (16.6 percent) when compared with the 2004 year. This is the second largest increase in volume of spirit-based beverage since the series began in 1995. Spirit-based drinks accounted for 80 percent of the volume of all spirits and spirit-based drinks in 2005.

The volume of spirits (those with more than 23 percent alcohol content) available for consumption fell to 10.6 million litres in the December 2005 year, down 430,000 litres (3.9 percent) compared with 2004.

Graph, Spirits and Spirit-based Drinks Available for Consumption.

Cigarettes and tobacco available for consumption

During the December 2005 year the number of cigarettes available for consumption increased by 5.0 percent to 2,436 million. This follows decreases of 2.0 percent in 2004 and 16.0 percent in 2003.

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The number of cigarettes available for consumption peaked at 6,346 million in the 1977 year. Since then the level of cigarettes available for consumption has generally been decreasing. The number of cigarettes has been below 3 billion for the last five calendar years, and below 2.5 billion for the last three years.

Tobacco available for consumption rose 5.6 percent to 889 tonnes in the 2005 calendar year, compared with the 2004 calendar year. Loose tobacco for pipe or cigarette smoking constituted approximately 27 percent of the volume of cigarettes and tobacco available for consumption in the December 2005 year, a level similar to that in the 2004 year.

The volume of cigarettes and tobacco available for consumption represents tobacco products cleared for local consumption on which duty has been paid.

Graph, Cigarettes Available for Consumption. Graph, Tobacco Available for Consumption.
 
For technical information contact:
Christine Sadler or Jeni Darnbrough
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz
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