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4307.0.55.002 - Apparent Consumption of Alcohol: Extended Time Series, 1944-45 to 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/01/2011  First Issue
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication provides estimates of apparent consumption of alcohol based on the availability of alcoholic beverages in Australia. It provides estimates of the quantity of pure alcohol available for consumption from beer, wine, spirits, and ready to drink (pre-mixed) beverages, plus estimates of the total volume of beer and wine available for consumption.

2 For beer, data is available for 1944-45 onwards. For wine, estimates of pure alcohol are available for 1960-61 onwards while estimates of the volume of wine are available from 1944-45 onwards. For spirits, estimates of pure alcohol are available for 1960-61 onwards.

3 Also provided are estimates of apparent per capita consumption for each of the above alcoholic beverages, for the population aged 15 years and over. This population is consistent with international standards for measuring trends in apparent consumption over time. See paragraphs 29 to 32 for information regarding population estimates.

4 Given the historical nature of the series and the range of assumptions used in estimating the amount of pure alcohol in beer and wine, the data are most useful as a guide to long-term trends in alcohol consumption in Australia. No particular emphasis should be placed on any one year, or on year-to-year changes.

5 Data are available at the national level only. Data are not available by particular demographic characteristics (such as state/territory, region, age, sex or country of birth). As such, it is not possible to account for any effect that changes in the age structure of the population over time may have had on the apparent consumption of alcohol in Australia.

Changes in this publication

6 Data presented in this publication supercede those published in Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001) and earlier related publications (see paragraph 15). In particular:

  • assumptions made regarding the alcohol content of wine have changed, resulting in revisions to the entire series of estimates of apparent consumption of pure alcohol in wine;
  • apparent consumption of wine (in volume) for 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 have been revised; and
  • apparent consumption of beer (in volume) and assumptions regarding the alcohol content of beer have been revised for 2005-06 to 2008-09, resulting in changes to these years for both volume and alcohol content of beer.


SCOPE AND COVERAGE

7 The scope of this collection is beer, wine, spirits and Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages available for consumption. Other alcoholic beverages which do not fall within this group (for example, ciders) are not included.

8 Data for beer, wine, spirits and Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages are collected from import clearances via the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), excise tariff data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) (which only applies to alcohol sold in Australia), and domestic sales of Australian produced wine from winemakers. Data for beer and wine also contain an estimated component for home production.

9 It should be noted that estimates of 'apparent consumption' are derived using information related to supply (that is, data on domestic sales of Australian produced wine, excise data on alcohol produced for domestic consumption, data on imports and an estimated component for home production), as opposed to actual consumption from a survey. No adjustments are made for:
  • changes in stocks;
  • duty-free alcohol imported by individual overseas travellers;
  • alcohol which is imported into Australia, cleared through bonded warehouse and then subsequently re-exported; or
  • alcohol that has been stored or cellared, used in the preparation of food or discarded as waste.

10 All alcohol available for consumption in a particular year is therefore assumed to have been consumed in that year.

11 Import clearance data are used in this publication to measure the quantity of alcohol imported into Australia. Import clearances relate to goods which are brought into Australia directly for home consumption, plus goods cleared from a bonded warehouse (that is, goods cleared into the Australian market for home consumption following payment of duty). Refer to International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001 (cat. no. 5489.0) for more information.

12 Data provided by the ATO are administrative by-product data collected for the levying of excise tariffs.

13 Data relating to domestic sales of Australian produced wine is obtained directly by the ABS from winemakers. See Shipments of Wine and Brandy in Australia by Australian Winemakers and Importers (cat. no. 8504.0) for more information.


DATA SOURCES

14 Data for earlier years of the time series in this publication have been compiled from various ABS historical sources, while data for more recent years have been obtained from contemporary ABS datasets. For earlier years, little documentation is available regarding details of how the data were produced, and/or subsequent revisions. Different issues of the historical sources may present different estimates for the same years. In most cases, the most recently published data has been selected for inclusion in this publication.

15 The historical sources are listed below:
  • Report on Food Production and the Consumption of Foodstuffs and Nutrients in Australia, 1946-47 to 1958-59
  • Statistical Bulletin: Report on Food Production and the Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs and Nutrients in Australia, 1959-60 to 1969-70
  • Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs and Nutrients, Australia, 1970-71 to 1974-75 (Ref. No. 10.10)
  • Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs and Nutrients, Australia, 1975-76 and 1976-77 to 1993-94 (cat. no. 4306.0)
  • Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs, Australia, 1994-95 and 1995-96 to 1997-98 and 1998-99 (cat. no. 4306.0)
  • Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2002-03 to 2008-09 (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001)

16 See Appendix 1 for information on changes to definitions and methods in the above sources, as reported at the time.


BEER

17 For the first time, estimates of the amount of pure alcohol in beer for 1944-45 to 1975-76 have been produced in this publication. These were derived using the previously published estimates of volume of beer for these years and assuming an average alcohol content of 4.8%, as used for 1977-78 to 1983-84 (see paragraph 33 of the Technical Notes to Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs and Nutrients, Australia, 1993-94, cat. no. 4306.0).

18 From 1984-85 onwards, the amount of pure alcohol in beer has been calculated from volumes of different strength beers ('low' and 'other' for 1984-85 to 1998-99, and 'low', 'mid' and 'full' strength for 1999-2000 onwards).

19 The table below shows the average alcohol strengths of domestically produced beers for 2005-06 to 2008-09. These have been revised since the 2008-09 issue of Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001).


Alcohol content of domestically produced beer, 2005-06 to 2008-09

Alcohol strength (%)

2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09

Packaged beer
Low strength
2.71
2.70
2.73
2.72
Mid strength
3.48
3.48
3.50
3.50
Full strength
4.75
4.75
4.72
4.69
Bulk beer
Low strength
2.69
2.68
2.68
2.65
Mid strength
3.50
3.50
3.50
3.50
Full strength
4.67
4.67
4.65
4.64



WINE

20 Annual estimates of the volume of wine available for consumption are derived using data on domestic sales collected directly from winemakers, quantity measures of import data, and an allowance for home production. The amount of pure alcohol in wine is then derived by applying assumptions about the alcoholic strength of different wine types to these volumes.

Changing alcohol content of table wine

21 In preparing the 2008–09 issue of Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001), ABS undertook a comprehensive review of the alcohol content of wine in recognition of the effect that changing environmental conditions, industry practices and consumer preferences have had on wine. The review resulted in an increase of 1.9 percentage points for the average alcohol content of table wine, from 10.8% to 12.7% (12.2% and 13.4% for white and red table wines, respectively). The alcohol strength of sparkling and carbonated wine also increased while the alcohol content of vermouth decreased.

22 Research by the Australian Wine Research Institute (Godden and Gishen, 2005) indicates that, overall, the average alcohol content of wines in Australia have increased since the mid 1980s. As a result, in this publication the assumptions used in the calculation of alcohol in table wine have been revised back to 1980-81, by interpolating between the previous assumption for alcohol content of table wine (10.8% in 1979-80) and the new level (around 12.7% for red and white wine combined, in 2008-09). As volumes of red and white wine are available from 2000-01 onwards, separate assumptions have been made for red and white wine for these years.

23 Similarly, the alcohol content of sparkling wines has been assumed to increase linearly between 1979-80 (10.6%) and 2008-09 (11.2%).

24 To maintain consistency with these assumptions, previously published estimates of the amount of pure alcohol in wine for the years 1975-76 to 1979-80 have also been revised.

25 Additionally, to enable a time series of total consumption of pure alcohol to be constructed from 1960-61 onwards (the first year for which pure alcohol in spirits is available), estimates of the amount of pure alcohol in wine for 1960-61 to 1974-75 have been produced for the first time in this publication, by applying assumptions about the alcoholic strength of different wine types to volumes of wine obtained from Statistical Bulletin: Wholesale Sales and Stocks of Wine and Brandy (Ref. No. 10.37) (for 1960-61 to 1969-70) and Wholesale Sales and Stocks of Wine and Brandy, Australia (Ref. No. 10.80) (for 1970-71 to 1974-75).

26 The assumptions used in deriving the amount of pure alcohol in wine, for selected years, are summarised below.


Assumed alcohol content of wine, selected years

Alcohol strength (%)




Wine type
1979-80
and
earlier
years



1984-85



1989-90



1994-95



1999-2000



2000-01



2004-05



2008-09

Fortified
17.9
17.9
17.9
17.9
17.9
17.9
17.9
17.9
Sparkling and carbonated
10.6
10.7
10.8
10.9
11.0
11.0
11.1
11.2
Table wine (total)
10.8
11.1
11.4
11.8
12.1
. .
. .
. .
Table wine (white)
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
11.8
12.0
12.2
Table wine (red)
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
12.7
13.0
13.4
Vermouth
17.3
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.4
Other wine not elsewhere included
14.4
14.4
14.4
14.4
14.4
14.4
14.4
14.4

. . not applicable


SPIRITS AND READY TO DRINK (PRE-MIXED) BEVERAGES

27 For spirits and Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages the amount of alcohol available for consumption is only available as the quantity of pure alcohol. Data are obtained from import clearance data from the ACBPS and excise data on domestic production of spirits from the ATO, with an adjustment to account for the excise paid on imported spirits which are commercially mixed with locally manufactured soft drinks after importation. Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages can include spirit based, wine based and other unspecified based products. To avoid double counting, alcohol which is imported as material for the purposes of domestic production of spirits is excluded from the importation data.


CONVERSION OF GALLONS TO LITRES

28 Data for the years 1944-45 to 1970-71 were originally presented in the historical sources in imperial gallons (beer and wine) and imperial proof gallons (spirits). For this publication, imperial gallons have been converted to litres using a factor of 4.54609 litres to the imperial gallon, and imperial proof gallons have been converted to litres using a factor of 3.785 litres to the imperial proof gallon.


POPULATION ESTIMATES USED IN CALCULATING APPARENT PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION

29 Apparent per capita consumption data included in this publication are calculated by dividing the quantity available for consumption by the estimated resident population of Australia of persons aged 15 years and over at 31 December each year.

30 Due to the unavailability of population estimates of persons aged 15 years and over for 31 December for the years 1944 to 1970, population estimates for these years have been derived by averaging estimates for 30 June (for which data are available).

31 Prior to the 2002-03 issue of Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001), apparent per capita estimates were derived using the total population (all persons). In this publication, per capita estimates for all years have been recalculated using the population of persons aged 15 years and over, such that all per capita estimates are comparable.

32 For more information on population estimates see Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).


CONFIDENTIALITY

33 The Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the authority for the ABS to collect statistical information, and requires that statistical output shall not be published or disseminated in a manner that is likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. This requirement means that the ABS must take care and make assurances that any statistical information about individual respondents cannot be derived from published data.


ROUNDING

34 Where figures have been rounded in tables, discrepancies may occur between sums of component items and totals.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

35 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, business, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


RELATED PRODUCTS

36 Other ABS products which may be of interest to users include:
37 ABS products and publications are available free of charge from the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>. Click on Statistics to gain access to the full range of ABS statistical or reference information.


ADDITIONAL STATISTICS AVAILABLE

38 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Enquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 (email: client.services@abs.gov.au).


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