Romanian Beer Sales Down 2% In First Quarter 2011 - Assoc

Sales of beer in Romania dropped by 2% in the first quarter, compared to the same period of last year, and by 25% compared to the first three months of 2008, which was the best year for the industry, said Constantin Bratu, executive manager of the Berarii Romaniei association.

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Romanian Beer Sales Down 2% In First Quarter 2011 - Assoc

Sales of beer in Romania dropped by 2% in the first quarter, compared to the same period of last year, and by 25% compared to the first three months of 2008, which was the best year for the industry, said Constantin Bratu, executive manager of the Berarii Romaniei association.

"We cannot estimate how the market will evolve this year, because in 2010, for instance, the market shrunk in the first half but grew in the second half of the year. On the other hand, in 2009, it shrunk in both parts of the year," said Bratu in a press conference Friday.

Total beer consumption in the first three months was 2.8 million hectoliters.

Bratu added that a Romanian has to work 30 minutes to be able to buy one liter of beer, way over the European average of eight minutes.

Home consumption accounts for 70-75% of the total. Beer is mostly sold in plastic bottles (49% of sales) or glass bottles (32%); cans account for 16% of sales, while draught beer makes up 3%.

The Romanian beer market is estimated to be worth EUR2 billion.

Sales dropped last year by 3.5%, to 17 million hectoliters. In the last two years, the beer market shrunk by 16%. Its best year was 2008, when 20.2 million hectoliters were sold.

Around 99% of the beer sold in Romania is produced locally.

The Berarii Romaniei association was set up in 2004 and includes Bergenbier, Heineken Romania, Romaqua Group, United Romanian Breweries Bereprod and Ursus Beweries. The five companies produced 15.3 million hectoliters of beer last year, in ten plants.

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