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Russian vodka exports collapse

Published:  16 February, 2016

Russian exports of vodka and other spirits slumped 40% in 2015, according to reports in the Russian media.

Export revenues in 2015 were some £83 million, down from £130 million in 2014.

Volumes likewise collapsed by 42% and are now at the same level as they were in 2005.

The Moscow Times attributes the fall in sales to both the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions from the West.

Exports to the Ukraine, hitherto Russian principal international market for spirits, fell by 90% year on year.

Sales in the Ukraine are now around £2.7 million, down from £27 million in 2014.

Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014 and continues to support a separatist movement in the east of the country.

The UK, Latvia and German remain major export markets for Russian vodka, but have all seen significant drops in sales.

The value of exports to those countries has fallen 35%, 14% and 29% respectively.

Reuters quotes Vadim Drobiz, an expert on the Russian alcohol market: "Relations between Russia and the West have been spoiled because of events in Ukraine and Syria and that could be the biggest reason for the fall in sales of Russian vodka."