By JAMES KUNDA –
ZAMBIAN Breweries, a subsidiary of global brewer SABMiller, posted a growth rate of 12 per cent on lager volumes at the end of 2013 buoyed by expansion projects that led to an increased production.
The lager consumption volumes are expected to deteriorate this year following an increase in alcohol prices after a 20 per cent hike in excise duty on clear beer at the beginning of 2014.
Government increased the excise duty on clear beer from 40 per cent to 60 per cent in 2014, a move that has seen alcohol prices in Zambia rise to among the highest in the Southern region.
SABMiller chief executive officer Alan Clark said the growth in lager volumes throughout 2013 was supported by increased availability and trade buy in ahead of beer price increase in January 2014, following increase in excise duty.
“In Zambia, lager volume growth of 12 per cent was supported by increased availability and trade buy in ahead of the January 2014 price increase following the increase in excise duty,” he said.
But the Ndola Liquor Traders Association (NLTA) has projected that beer consumption volumes in the country are expected to drop following the recent hike in retail prices.
NLTA chairperson Paul Ngosa said in a separate interview yesterdaythat before the price adjustments, sales volumes for alcohol were high
though no shortages were recorded.
“Bars and bottle stores are now selling liquor at K7 per bottle from the previous K6 after the price adjustment and this is what makes us
anticipate that consumption volumes may drop this year,” he said.