In the first half-year of 2020, a total of 23.346 million liters of alcoholic beverages (aside from beer) was produced in Latvia, down by 8.9% YoY, according to information from the State Revenue Service (VID).
Additionally, small alcoholic beverage producers with valid licenses issued under beneficial conditions produced 35,000 liters of alcoholic beverages in the first six months of 2020. 84% of those alcoholic beverages fall into the fermented beverages group.
In the first six months of 2020, a total of 28.263 million liters of alcoholic beverages (aside from beer) was produced for consumption in Latvia, down by 9.8%. The volume of wine supplied for sales in stores was 6.517 million liters (-10.2%), the volume of vodka was 5.662 million liters (+6.4%), the volume of sparkling wine was 1.969 million liters (-7.6%) and the volume of alcoholic cocktails was 1.417 million liters (-8%).
VID notes the reduction of the volume of alcoholic beverages supplied for consumption in the first six months of 2020 is associated with the reduction of excise tax difference between Latvia and Estonia, especially in relation to the group of other alcoholic beverages.
“With excise tax difference reduced, so did consumers’ behavior and the interest of people in Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden to procure alcoholic beverages in Latvia, since the price difference is no longer all that noticeable,” explained VID.
The service also noted the state of emergency and restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19 had also affected alcohol consumption in Latvia. The same can be said for restrictions on residents’ ability to travel, closure of borders, limited economic development, changed purchasing power of Latvian residents, as well as reduced cross-border trade between Latvia and Estonia, reducing excise tax revenue in the process.
VID data also shows the volume of imported alcoholic beverages in Latvia (aside from beer) was 85.789 million liters, down by 7.4%. Additionally, Latvia also imported 43.544 million liters of wine, down by 5.5%.
Latvia also carried locally produced and imported alcoholic beverages (aside from beer) from the country in the volume of 77.812 million liters, down by 7.2%. 89.8% of those alcoholic beverages were exported.
In the first half-year of 2019, Latvia produced 25.614 million liters of alcoholic beverages (aside from beer). 31.319 million liters of alcoholic beverages were released for consumption in Latvia. (BNN/Business World Magazine)