Oh noes! Not vodka!

I had this stashed in a “to read” pile and thought it was interesting.

With retailers struggling to find credit and ordinary Russians being forced to change their spending, a vast lake of undrunk vodka is accumulating in distilleries across Russia.

Official statistics indicate a collapse in demand for vodka over the past two months. November inventories of unsold vodka stock have risen to 82 million litres, a 600 per cent increase from 2007, according to the National Alcohol Association.

The vodka lake has grown even as desperate producers have slashed output, which fell by 15 per cent in October according to industry estimates.

Retailers and producers alike attribute the main reason for the collapse in the market to the evaporation of credit, with many suppliers unable to refinance loans from banks to buy new supplies.

“People are spending less money on alcohol and other products because of the financial crisis,” said Pavel Shapkin, the executive secretary of the National Alcohol Association. “As people try to save money, they are turning to cheaper brands.”

I’m more than willing to help clear your surplus, Russia!

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