In 2017, the leader in the Russian vodka market changed: Tatspirtprom lost Beluga Group in terms of production volumes, cutting them by 26%. The company explained the situation by refusing a contractual spill in favor of its brands. The remaining large holdings were able to take advantage of the state's successes in combating illegal production in order to increase the production of their vodka.
"Tatspirprom" in 2017 produced 8.6 million dal of vodka, which is 26% less than in 2016, the head of the Tatarstan State Tax Inspectorate Zhaudat Ahmetkhanov said on Wednesday. "This is due to the implementation of the new policy of Tatspirtprom, aimed at avoiding vodka produced under ... agreements, and a gradual return to the Tatarstan brands," the official said (quoted by TASS). In "Tatspirtprom", "Kommersant" clarified that they stopped, in particular, the issue of vodka Medoff, "Medved" and "Starley" under the contract.
The new policy of "Tatspirtprom" cost him the first place among the Russian producers of vodka. According to the data provided by one of the market participants to Kommersant, by the end of 2017 the leader was the Beluga Group (formerly Synergy), which was able to issue 9.58 million decaliters, 3% more than in 2016. Beluga Group Prep Alexander Mechetin called these figures true.
A representative of Tatspirtprom explained the refusal of third-party brands to increase the production of their own alcohol brands. Meanwhile, as can be seen from the Nielsen data available to Kommersant, the main vodka of Tatspirtprom, Russian Currency, on the contrary, is losing ground. In October-September 2017, it ranked fourth in terms of sales among all vodkas in the Russian market with a share of 3.5% in physical terms, while a year earlier it was on the second with a share of 4.11%.
The largest producer of vodka in Russia, "Tatspirtprom" was in 2015, ahead of the volume of the spill Roust and "Synergy". This company was able to do just at the expense of a contracted spill, to which at that time, according to the estimates of the CIFRRA, accounted for about 55% of its total output. The manager of one of the alcohol companies says that Tatspirtprom, owned by the republican authorities, was interested in contracts with third-party companies, since its main task in previous years was to bring more revenue from the released alcohol to the regional budget. But since 2017 the Ministry of Finance has changed the scheme of distribution of incomes from excises: a part of them began to return to the region not proceeding from the volumes of alcohol produced in it, but in proportion to sales (see "Kommersant" on October 13, 2016).
All other large alcoholic holdings (see table) were able to increase vodka production in 2017: in particular, Roust - by 14%, and Alcoholic Siberian Group (LNG) - 39% at once. Both companies confirmed these figures. The growth of volumes of the director general of ASG Igor Saveliev connects, in particular, with the successful struggle of the authorities with the shadow market, which was expressed in the introduction of the EGAIS system, including at points of traditional retail. "According to our estimates, the production of legal vodka in Russia has grown by no less than 15%," Savelyev said. The official statistics, however, are more modest: the growth was only 9%, to 79.82 million decaliters.
With the fact that the market has stabilized, Mr. Mechetin agrees. In his opinion, the state's efforts allowed to reduce the volume of illegal vodka to 20-25%. Two years earlier, individual manufacturers rated them at 50-60%. In 2018, market participants, however, do not expect such a significant increase in the volume of production of legal vodka, which was last year. Beluga Group believes that they will grow by no more than 5%, in the LRA - by about 3-5%.