Liquor shipments down amid cost of living pressures
Revenue from liquor products remained more or less the same due to increased pricesBy Shim Woo-hyun
Published : April 3, 2023 - 16:24
Shipments of alcoholic beverages in South Korea have decreased over recent years amid inflationary pressures and changes in attitudes to alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, government data showed Friday.
According to Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation data, the combined shipments of liquor products in 2021 came to 3 million kiloliters, down 3.5 percent on-year.
The figure in 2014 came to 3.8 million kl.
Between 2019 and 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, shipments of liquor products continued to drop. In 2019, the total shipments of liquor products reached 3.3 million kl, but the figure dropped to 3.1 million kl the following year.
By product, total shipments of beer products in 2021 have fallen by 1.8 percent to reach 1.53 million kl, accounting for some 51.4 percent of the total shipments of liquor products in 2021.
Shipments of soju products have fallen by 5.6 percent to come to 826,000 kl last year, or 28.6 percent of the total.
Despite decreased shipments of liquor products, revenues from liquor products have increased last year, largely due to their increased prices.
In 2021, revenues from liquor products came to 8.65 trillion won ($6.6 billion), up 1.1 percent on-year. In 2019 and 2020, annual revenues remained at 8.58 and 8.56 trillion won despite decreased shipments of liquor products.
In March last year, Oriental Brewery raised the factory prices for its beer products by an average of 7.7 percent, followed by Hite Jinro, which also raised the factory prices of its beer products by an average 7.7 percent.
In February last year, Hite Jinro applied a 7.9 percent price hike to its soju products, which was followed by other soju makers.
The upward trend in the prices of liquor products continued this year amid cost of living pressures.
According to the Korean Statistical Information Service’s data, the price index for beer products at restaurants and outdoor dining establishments in February this year has increased by 10.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago. The price index for beer products at discount and convenience stores also went up by 5.9 percent.
Prices of imported beer products at convenience stores, for example, jumped last month from 4,000 won to 4,500 won. The local convenience stores’ well-known deal of four imported cans of beer for 10,000 won is currently at 12,000 won, up from 11,000 won in November last year.
In the meantime, the price index for soju products at outdoor dining establishments also increased by 11.2 percent in February, while the index for soju products at discount and convenience stores increased by 8.6 percent.
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