Brewers forecast beer sales at last year's level during this year's Midsummer holidays

  • 2024-06-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Beer sales in Latvia during the Midsummer holidays could remain at the same level as last year, beer producers approached by LETA projected.

Irena Pumpura, Director of Uzavas Alus, said that beer sales during the Midsummer holidays this year would be at a similar level compared to last year's festive season, judging by current beer sales. However, this year's sales of Uzavas Alus could increase by around 5 percent due to favorable weather conditions.

She explained that beer sales each year remain at the same level as in other years or increase slightly because the company has a stable loyal customer base. However, as a seasonal product, sales also depend on the weather and the number of days off for customers.

The company's director noted that no special difficulties were expected for the festivities, but that, if one looks at the technical conditions, the unexpectedly high demand for cider meant that Uzavas Alus produced less cider than demanded. The product will be available on the shelves again after the festivities.

Pumpura said that traditional Latvian celebrations, such as Ligo! and Jani!, have always been associated with beer, so beer producers usually expect the highest sales during the festivities.

Meanwhile, Valters Paskausks, head of the Tervetes Alus brewery, predicted that there would be no increase in beer sales during Midsummer this year.

Sales of Tervetes Alus beverages in the first three months of this year were lower than in the same period last year, but in April they were at the same level as in April 2023. Beer sales volumes in April, on the other hand, decreased compared to April last year. On average, the company has sold between 1,100 and 1,200 tons of beer in June and between 400 and 500 tons of beer in September in other years. On average, the company sells between seven and 7.5 million tons of beer per year.

He noted that May was a good month for brewers across Latvia, with warm and sunny weather, but that this would not make up for the lower sales of the first four months. June, on the other hand, was not a very warm month and beer sales are likely to fall compared to June last year. Overall, Paskausks expects sales in the first half of this year to be similar or lower than in the first half of last year.

He said that there had been no pre-holiday difficulties, but that yet another increase in excise duty was a negative development. The head of the Tervetes Alus brewery also stated that the Latvian government's position has not changed: it is against beer production, saying that beer is bad and made people drunk, while using this position to increase excise duty and receive more revenue for the state budget.

However, Paskausks noted that an analysis of excise duties on beer over the last ten years shows that the revenue to the State from excise duties on beer has been decreasing, because when excise duties increase, the volume of beer purchased also decreases. He considers that increasing excise duties does not help to increase the size of the State budget and, given that beer is one of the sectors that has a direct impact on domestic capital and businesses in Latvia, imposing higher burdens on beer encourages imports and the share of strong alcohol.

The director of the Tervetes Alus brewery pointed out that non-alcoholic beer and other non-alcoholic beverages are also seasonal products and their sales volume increases up to three times during the summer. The company sells an average of 500,000 liters of kvass per year.