4307.0.55.001 - Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2008-09  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2010   
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27 May, 2010
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Ready to drink alcohol drops by one third: ABS

Apparent consumption of alcohol through ready to drink, pre-mixed beverages fell by 30% in 2008-09, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This reversed the upward trend over the last 4 years.

In 2008-09, apparent consumption of alcohol through ready to drink, pre-mixed beverages was 13.1 million litres, or 0.74 litres per person. This was a fall from 18.7 million litres in 2007-08, or 1.08 litres per person.

This contrasts to an increase in the apparent consumption of alcohol in the form of spirits, which rose from 20.2 million litres, or 1.17 litres per person, in 2007-08, to 22.9 million litres, or 1.29 litres per person, in 2008-09. The apparent consumption of beer and wine also increased, by 1.7% and 2.2% respectively. In total, there was very little change (0.1%) in the apparent consumption of pure alcohol between 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Overall, there were 10.1 litres of pure alcohol available per person aged 15 years and over in 2008-09, equivalent to a little more than two standard drinks per person per day. Nearly half of the 10.1 litres of alcohol was in the form of beer (4.5 litres) with about a third in wine (3.6 litres).

In terms of alcohol content, more White table wines (30.2 million litres) are available for consumption than Red table wines (22.8 million litres). Apparent total consumption of alcohol in full strength beer was 65.3 million litres, compared with 9.9 for medium strength beers, and 4.3 million litres for low strength beers.

Further information is available in Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2008-09' (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001).

Media notes:
  • Estimates on apparent consumption of alcohol provide information on the amount of alcohol available to be consumed and is based on the estimated resident population of persons aged 15 years and over. It is not a measure of the actual amount of alcohol consumed. The population of 15 years and over enables international comparability.
  • Apparent consumption measure estimates the amount of alcohol available (based on excise, import and sales data), but does not estimate the actual amount consumed as it does not account for factors such as waste or storage.
  • When quoting ABS statistics, please attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.