In December 2019 distillery production jumped by 60 percent y/y as stores rushed through orders of bottles at old excise rates according to a Polish daily.
In the last few months of 2019 Polish spirits manufacturers cranked up production after the announcement of the imposition of higher excise on a bottle of vodka.
Orders from shops wanting to offer their customers spirits at the old prices for as long as possible were so high that production was cranked up by 60 percent in December, compared to the previous year, after output rises of 12 and 14 percent in October and November respectively.
Overall production in 2019 was 11 pct higher than in 2018 and was higher than any year since 2013, the year before the last increase in excise tax in 2014, according to Statistics Poland data, quoted by Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily.
Orders down in 2020
However, with consumption remaining flat for three years at 3.3l per person per year, according to the State Agency for Dealing with Alcoholism, the spirits industry fears that there will be a significant slump in orders in 2020, with a glut of products on the shelf for the next few months. This would follow the pattern of 2014, when production dropped by nearly 30 percent.
The increase in excise is PLN 1.47 (EUR 0.34) per 0.5 l bottle putting the price up 6.3 pct from an average of PLN 23 (EUR 5.38) to PLN 24.47 (EUR 5.62).
The price rise due to excise is a flat fee. It therefore has a greater impact on the price of cheaper, domestically produced alcohol than on imported spirits like whisky or tequila. Further price rises of pocket-sized vodka sold in 100 ml or 200 ml bottles are expected, which spirit producers predict will encourage drinkers to switch to beer.