Beer producers: July beer sales more than doubled on northern border

Beer prices in stores ahead of the July alcohol excise duty cut. July 2019.
Beer prices in stores ahead of the July alcohol excise duty cut. July 2019. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Beer sales on Estonia's northern border increased 2.2-fold on year in July, according to the Estonian Breweries Association.

Last month, beer sales across Estonia increased approximately 45 percent on year, while the sale of cider and other low-alcohol by volume (ABV) beverages rose 37 percent, the association said.

Beer producers' July sales figures indicate that the Estonian market is recovering rapidly following an excise duty cut that entered into effect on July 1. According to these figures, association members sold approximately 10 million liters of beer in Estonia last month, up 45 percent from 6.9 million last year.

"Thanks to the excise duty cut, the volume of taxable liters for low-ABV beverages has increased altogether 43 percent in Estonia in the first month following the tax cut already," Estonian Breweries Association CEO Peeter Võrk said, noting that this confirmed the positive impact of the excise duty cut in the low-ABV beverage sector, even despite the fact that July 2018 had been exceptionally warm.

"It cannot be concluded from growing sales in Estonia that Estonians have begun consuming more alcohol," Võrk continued. "As already noted, there is significant impact from the northern border as well as a significant impact in various regions within Estonia, where the price decrease has quelled the financial motivation to bring in products from the Latvian border."

Although it is too early to draw conclusions regarding tax receipts, the association is convinced that excise duty cuts will have a clearly positive impact on the state budget. "It is therefore right that purely economic arguments are the reason for cross-border trade," the CEO added.

The Estonian Breweries Association is an umbrella organization for major Estonian producers of beer and other low-ABV beverages. The association's sales statistics have been collected from member organizations. Association members' share of revenue on the Estonian market is over 90 percent.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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