Beer exports from Lithuania have soared this year, reaching almost 9 million liters over eleven months in 2004, a 94.2 percent rise year-on-year, the Lithuanian Brewers' Association has reported. In November alone, exports totaled 800,000 liters, a rise of 3.6 times compared with November 2003. Svyturys-Utenos Alus, the country's largest brewery, controlled by the Nordic group Baltic Beverages Holding, exported 6.4 million liters of beer from January to November, a rise of 3.2 times from the year-earlier figure.
The Lithuanian government has added its 39.51 percent equity stake in the news agency ELTA to its privatization list for 2005. Antanas Malikenas, privatization director at the State Property Fund, told the Baltic News Service that officials would start drafting ELTA's privatization at the start of the year. The MG Baltic concern currently holds a 50.86 percent stake in the news agency, while the Achema Group owns a 6.75 percent stake in ELTA. Earlier this year it announced it intended to take part in the agency's privatization. The group's other media holdings include the radio station Radiocentras, the daily Lietuvos Zinios and Baltijos TV. ELTA's net earnings slumped to 6,630 litas (1,660 euros) in 2003 although annual revenues grew by 12 percent.
Galvex Estonia announced that it produced 218,438 tons of galvanized steel in 2003 and that production output for 2004 is expected to increase up to 60 percent year-on-year. The U.S.-financed Galvex galvanizing line launched production in Muuga in 2002. It is one of the largest foreign investment projects in Estonia.