4307.0.55.001 - Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/09/2018   
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SUMMARY

There were 185.8 million litres of pure alcohol available for consumption from alcoholic beverages in Australia in 2016-17. This was a decrease from the amount available for consumption in 2015-16 (188.2 million litres).

A 3.4% decrease in pure alcohol from beer (or 2,593 thousand litres) between 2015-16 and 2016-17 was responsible for the overall decline in the volume of pure alcohol available. Comparatively less change in pure alcohol volumes was seen from pre-mixed or ready to drink beverages (RTDs) decreasing 0.7% (76 thousand litres) and cider decreasing 1.3% (82 thousand litres). In contrast, alcohol from wine grew 0.4% (299 thousand litres) and spirits grew 0.2% (45 thousand litres) over the year to 2016-17.

Of the total amount of pure alcohol available for consumption in 2016-17, beer contributed 39.2%, wine 38.3%, spirits 13.1%, RTDs 6.0% and cider 3.4%. Although beer has remained the leading source of alcohol over recent years, its share of total alcohol consumed has declined 2.1 percentage points since 2011-12 (from 41.2%). The declining share of alcohol from beer over the five years to 2016-17 has been taken up by wine and cider (up 0.6 and 1.7 percentage points respectively), while the share from spirits and RTDs was down by 0.3 percentage points.

On a per capita basis there were 9.4 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption per person in 2016-17, down from the amount in 2015-16 (9.7 litres) and is the lowest level since 1961-62 (9.4 litres).

Graph Image for Apparent Consumption of Pure Alcohol, Per capita(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Litres per person aged 15 years and over. (b) Includes Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages.

Source(s): Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2016-17



While on the one hand, apparent consumption of alcohol figures will tend to overestimate the true level of alcohol consumed because adjustments have not been made for storage, wastage and other factors such as for alcohol used in cooking, on the other hand the per-capita estimates will under-estimate consumption among alcohol consumers because many people never actually consume alcohol. The 2014-15 National Health Survey data indicates that over one-fifth (21.3%) of the population aged 15 years and over had not consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months. Assuming this proportion of non-drinkers, the average alcohol consumption among alcohol consumers can be estimated at 12.0 litres per year in 2016-17. As a standard drink consists of 12.5 mls of pure alcohol, this is equivalent to an average of 2.6 standard drinks per day among the consumers, down from 2.7 in 2015-16.


TABLE 1: PURE ALCOHOL AVAILABLE FOR CONSUMPTION

Year ended 30 June
Beer
Wine(a)
Spirits
RTDs(b)
Cider(c)
Total

VOLUME OF PURE ALCOHOL ('000 litres)

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
75 585
75 116
75 862
72 102
75 371
72 778
69 044
68 719
68 890
70 219
70 862
71 161
23 080
24 031
23 174
23 436
24 280
24 325
12 490
12 130
11 610
10 962
11 301
11 225
r3 116
r4 237
r5 172
r6 220
r6 399
6 317
r183 315
r184 234
r184 708
r182 939
r188 214
185 807

PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF PURE ALCOHOL(d) (litres)

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
4.14
4.04
4.01
3.76
3.87
3.68
3.78
3.69
3.64
3.66
3.64
3.60
1.26
1.29
1.23
1.22
1.25
1.23
0.68
0.65
0.61
0.57
0.58
0.57
0.17
r0.23
0.27
r0.32
r0.33
0.32
10.04
r9.91
r9.77
r9.53
r9.66
9.39

r revised (see paragraph 46 of the Explanatory Notes).
(a) A number of changes in methodology have occurred from 2013-14 to 2016-17, therefore, comparisons between these years should be interpreted with caution. See paragraphs 18 to 25 of the Explanatory Notes for details.
(b) Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages.
(c) See paragraphs 37 to 45 of the Explanatory Notes for information on how estimates of cider were calculated.
(d) Litres per person aged 15 years and over.

Graph Image for Apparent Consumption of Pure Alcohol, per capita(a) - Year ended 30 June 2012 to 2017

Footnote(s): (a) Litres per person aged 15 years and over. (b) Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages.

Source(s): Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2016-17