NZ sees decline in alcohol available for consumption

WELLINGTON, Feb 27 : Alcohol available for consumption in New Zealand decreased to 477 million litres in the year ending in December 2023, a fall of 4.3 percent from 2022, the largest fall over the past 15 years, the statistics department at Stats NZ said on Tuesday.
“The last year was a challenging one for domestic producers, with a number of challenges, including adverse weather events,” said Alasdair Allen, Stats NZ international trade manager.
There was also a reduction in imports of beer and wine, Allen said, adding that the volume of beer available fell 4.4 percent, wine fell 2.4 percent, and spirits and spirit-based drinks fell 5.7 percent.
This was the largest decrease in beer volumes since a fall of 6.6 percent in 2012, Allen said, adding that imports of beer decreased 5.1 percent to 4.2 million litres, following a 10 percent fall in 2022 and a 50 percent fall in 2021.
Volumes of wine had the smallest decrease out of the three types of alcohol available for consumption, with a fall of 2.4 percent to 99 million litres, he said.
Wine exports in 2023 fell 9 percent compared with 2022 to 269 million litres, which followed a rise of 5 percent in 2022 and a fall of 7.3 percent in 2021, the statistics showed.
Spirits-based drinks, such as ready-to-drink beverages, decreased the most in 2023, by 7 percent, which followed a 3.8 percent increase in 2022 and a 14 percent increase in 2021, Allen said.
The volume of traditional spirits, such as vodka, whisky, and gin, remained relatively flat, with an increase of 1.4 percent, he added. (UNI)