Russian Alcohol Makers Fall by One Third

The number of alcoholic drinks makers in Russia fell 32 percent to 341 enterprises last year as a result of government steps to re-license local manufacturers and sellers, RBC daily business on-line newspaper reported on Wednesday quoting industry sources.

The number of wholesale alcohol sellers also fell 19 percent to 1,690 firms, Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation documents obtained by the paper show.

The service started a large-scale re-licensing of alcohol market firms in 2011. Market players claim the watchdog acted in the interests of large alcohol makers which could more easily meet the strict new requirements introduced by the service, while the state authorities argued the measure would help combat fake alcohol producers.

The regulator also granted 2,264 licenses last year, a 34.1 percent fall compared with 2010, while the number of market players slumped 22 percent to 2,041.

Vodka production fell 9.5 percent to 86.3 million deciliters in 2011, while wine output edged down 10.5 percent to 40.4 million deciliters.

Counterfeit alcohol amounted to 36.5 percent of the market in 2011 according to Federal State Statistics Service estimates.


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