Moscow, April 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The number of alcoholic drink makers in Russia fell 32 percent last year as a result of government steps to re-license local manufacturers and sellers, according to an online business newspaper. Vodka production fell 9.5 percent to 86.3 million deciliters in 2011, while wine output edged down 10.5 percent to 40.4 million deciliters.
The RBC daily said the number of drink makers in Russia now stands at 341.
The number of wholesale alcohol sellers also fell 19 percent to 1,690 firms, according to documents obtained from the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation.
The federal service started a large-scale re-licensing of alcohol market firms in 2011.
Market players claim the watchdog acted in the interests of large alcohol makers which could more easily meet the strict new requirements introduced by the service, while the state authorities argued the measure would help combat fake alcohol producers.
The regulator also granted 2,264 licenses last year, a 34.1 percent fall compared to 2010, while the number of market players slumped 22 percent to 2,041.
Counterfeit alcohol amounted to 36.5 percent of the market in 2011, according to the Federal State Statistics Service.
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