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More Beer, Wine and Spirits in 2005
Embargoed until 10:45pm  –  23 February 2006

Alcohol and Tobacco Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2005  –  Media Release

Beer, wine, and spirit-based drinks available for consumption all increased in the 2005 calendar year, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Beer still remained the most popular type of alcoholic beverage in New Zealand, accounting for 68.8 percent of the alcohol available for consumption. While beer with a strength of 4.35 percent or less was still the most common beer available, the availability of higher strength beer has been increasing. It represented almost 30 percent of the 316 million litres of beer available in 2005.

Bottled beer made up 53.6 percent of domestically produced beer in 2005, exceeding the previous highest level (50.8 percent) in 1982. By contrast, bulk (tap) beer now accounts for just over a quarter of the beer produced, compared with almost half of the beer produced in 1991. Total domestic production was down slightly from the 2004 level, to 91.6 percent of all beer available for consumption.

In 2005, wine provided 19.5 percent of the available alcohol, with domestic production making up three-quarters of the 89 million litres of wine available in New Zealand.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks represented 11.7 percent of the total alcohol available for consumption in 2005. Spirit-based drinks were up 6.1 million litres in 2005, the largest increase since 1998. The share of spirits and spirit-based drinks has increased steadily from 3.0 percent in 1996.

During the December 2005 year, the number of cigarettes available for consumption was 2.4 billion, up 5 percent from the previous year. The number of cigarettes available for consumption peaked at 6.3 billion in 1977, and levels were generally above 6 billion until 1984, but have been below 2.5 billion for the last three years.

Tobacco available for consumption rose to 889 tonnes in the 2005 year, up 5.6 percent from 2004. Loose tobacco for pipe or cigarette smoking made up approximately 27 percent of the total cigarette and tobacco products available for consumption, unchanged from 2004.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician
For technical information contact:
Christine Sadler or Jeni Darnbrough
23 February 2006
Cat 01.500 Set 05/06 – 136
Christchurch 03 964 8700
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