Booze sales to Estonian drinkers continue to rise

The boom in alcohol sales caused by Estonians and others coming to Latvia to take advantage of cheaper prices shows no sign of abating, according to Estonian public media's English-language service ERR News.

As reported previously by LSM, a variety of large drinks warehouses have sprung up on the Latvian side of the border to cater mainly to Estonians, Finns and Swedes wanting to stock up their cellars and avoid heavy duties levied on domestic sales. 

In 2017 it was estimated that one in ten Estonians had made the pilgrimage south in search of a boozy bargain.

Cider and low-alcohol beverages sales on the Latvian border increased from 0.91 million liters in the first four months of 2018, to 1.25 million liters during the same period of 2019, according to figures from the Estonian Breweries Association (Eesti Õlletootjate Liit).

6.65 million liters of beer was sold on the southern border in the first four months of 2019, slightly up on the 6.638 million liters sold in the same period in 2018.

"A year ago, stores established specifically for servicing border alcohol customers numbered seven on the Latvian-Estonian border, but two new operators with two completely new stores emerged last year in the light of growing volumes," said breweries association Peeter Vork.

Around 1.9 million liters more beer is likely to be sold on the Latvian border this year than last, with the total of 29 million liters of beer equivalent 40 percent of the total volume of beer sold in Estonia.

Further comments and figures are available at the ERR News portal.

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