Kyrgyzstan produced 16.988 million liters of vodka products and 7.067 million liters of pure alcohol in the first nine months of 2003, respectively 10% and 13.9% more than in the same period last year, the chief government regulator of alcohol production, storage and sales told Interfax.
This was respectively 14.2% and 1.5% less than the production targets for the period, Ulanbek Baiyzbekov said. Existing production capacity is sufficient to meet targets, but the market is now saturated. Inventories of finished product totaled 1.73 million liters at the beginning of September.
The annual production targets of 30 million liters of vodka products and 12 million liters of pure alcohol could be met with tougher regulation, the elimination of smuggling and illegal production, Baiyzbekov said.
The national statistics committee has reported that 15.124 million liters of smuggled and illegally produced vodka products were sold in Kyrgyzstan last year, which made up 38.4% of total sales. The figures were respectively 4.72 million liters and 49.9% for wine, and 15.548 million liters and 46.8% for beer.
Legal production of vodka products in Kyrgyzstan rose 30% to 24.066 million liters in 2002, and production of pure alcohol was up 50% to 9.758 million liters.
Interfax, October 21, 2003