The Polish vodka sector has failed to bounce back after the 2014 increase in excise tax. Between January and October 2015, 665,000 liters of vodka were produced, a decline of nine percent compared with the same period in 2013.
Entrepreneurs claim that growing imports of methylated spirit from Hungary indicate that lower production is offset by alcohol made in the grey economy.
“After a record decline in 2014, there was hope in the sector that vodka production will reach levels seen in 2013. After the first nine months, it is evident that it won’t be possible. We haven’t gained stability after a dramatic increase of excise tax in 2014,” said Leszek Wiwała, head of the sector’s employment union.
“In 2014, imports of methylated spirit from Hungary grew by 1,000 percent and the trend persists. Illegal alcohol is up to four-five times cheaper than what you can buy in a shop,” Wiwała added.
In January 2014, the excise tax on spirits grew by 15 percent.