Economic crisis takes toll on Kerala liquor sales

December 10th, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 10 (IANS) The economic downturn has affected almost every sector in the country and liquor sales are no exception. So much so, Kerala, one of the leading liquor consuming states in the country, has seen sales dropping by over 7 percent in October and November. A spokesperson of the Kerala State Beverages Corp (KSBC), the sole wholesaler of liquor and beer in the state, told IANS that the sales went down in October and November from previous months as the downturn has forced consumers to cut down their expenditure on liquor.

“The sales in September this year were Rs.408.92 crore (Rs.4.08 billion). But it went down to Rs.381.53 crore (Rs.3.81 billion) in October, and the November sales were at Rs.355.55 crore (Rs.3.55 billion),” the spokesperson said.

However, the year-on-year sales in these months were 17 percent higher than the year-ago period.

According to the official, Malayalees cut down spending on liquor as their income from rubber sales went down sharply due to low prices.

“The prime reason for the drop in sales in October and November is the fall in rubber prices. Rubber prices last year was around Rs.100 a kilogram, and this time it is close to Rs.50,” the KSBC official said.

Kerala produces 83 percent of the total natural rubber in the country.

Last fiscal, KSBC reported an all-time high sale of both liquor and beer, at Rs.3,667 crore (Rs.36.67 billion), up from Rs.3,143 crore (Rs.31.43 billion) in 2006-07.

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