The production of vodka and brandy fell in Russia by almost a third in January. This “negative” trend applies to almost all varieties of alcoholic beverages and even cigarettes, reports the news service Kaliningrad Domizil. Possibly the production will decrease even more after the minimum price for alcoholic beverages was increased from 1 February 2014.
Russian vodka production declined by 28.9 percent compared to the same month last year to a total of 22 million liters. The production of brandy and cognac fell by 33.4 percent to 2.84 million liters.
For Russian-made wine the decline is 24.3 percent and for Russian beer 1.1 percent – all compared to January last year.
But even soda was produced less, the figures declined by 1.5 percent.
Anyone who wants the Russians to have a better health – with President Putin at the top – will also appreciate that 20 percent fewer cigarettes were produced in Russia in January 2014. But with 14.4 billion cigarettes in January 2014 the figures are still quite high. According to the statistics every Russian smoked still more than 100 cigarettes in January.
As of 1 February, the government fixed the minimum price of 0.5 liters of vodka (the usual unit) increased from 170 to 199 rubles (about 3 Euros). Brandy has a minimum price of 293 rubles for 0.5 liter while it is not allowed to sell brandy for less than 322 rubles.
All these changes are related to the increase of the state tax on alcoholic products. For alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 9 percent, it is now at 500 rubles (around 85 NOK) per 1 liter of pure alcohol. Taxes have increased in Russia for several years as part of the fight against alcoholism.