MOSCOW, July 19 (Reuters) - Higher excise tax cut Russian beer production by almost 10 percent in the first half of the year compared with 2009, official and industry data showed on Monday.
Russia produced 104 million dekalitres of beer last month, down 5.6 percent year-on-year and 2.5 percent below the previous month, the Federal Statistics Service, or Rosstat, said, despite hot weather and the World Cup.
The Union of Russian Brewers said the tripling of beer excise at the start of the year was the main reason for the fall, along with increases in beer stocks.
Yulia Khramaikova, from the Union’s press service, said a heat wave affecting Russia’s central regions for a month had helped ease the pace of the production decline.
“Beer production has been showing negative dynamics from the start of the year as a result of the sharp increase in excise tax,” Khramaikova said. “On the whole, beer production in the first half of the year fell by 9.9 percent.”
World no. 4 brewer Carslberg, whose Russian Baltika unit has a market share of roughly 40 percent, said in June the Russian beer market would shrink 10-13 percent this year.
Production of vodka also slightly declined last month to 7 million dekalitres, a 2.2 percent drop when compared with June of 2009, and production of liquors slumped almost 35 percent. (Reporting by Maria Plis; writing by Lidia Kelly; editing by David Cowell)