Russia’s counterfeit whisky market worth £230m10th February, 2014 by Amy Hopkins
Russia’s counterfeit alcohol market is continuing to boom after millions of litres of whisky which had not been imported were sold in the country in 2013, new figures suggest.
According to local reports, figures released by Russia’s State Statistics Service show that Russian retailers sold 9.9 million more litres of whisky than was imported into the country in 2013
The agency therefore claimed that Russia’s counterfeit whisky market could be worth at least £230 million (eight billion rubles).
The State Statistics Service began collecting data indicating a discrepancy between the amount of whisky imported and the amount sold in Russia in 2010.
In that year, retailers were found to have sold 16.8 million more litres of whisky than was imported into the country.
This figure dropped to 7.8 million litres in 2012 – thought to be the result of increased government efforts to crackdown on Russia’s black market for alcohol.
However, the government’s steep rises in minimum pricing and tax hikes have also been criticised as reinvigorating the black market – which is said to account for 35-50% of total alcohol sales.
The Spirits Business reported in February last year that Scotch sales in Russia were expected to overtake those in the UK in 2016.