Russia. Beer production to decrease by only 5.1%, the USAIS “helped” to improve forecasts

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According to Rosstat, in 2015 beer production in Russia decreased by 5.1% against 2014. However, in December 2015, beer production in Russia increased by 13% compared to the same period of 2014 and by 23.2% compared to November 2015.

Probably, the sharp increase in production at the end of the year is not due to the market factors, but the desire of brewers to overstock the warehouses of distributors and retailers in the run-up to joining of the wholesale and retail segment to the Unified State Automated Information System of registration of alcohol (USAIS).

The concerns of brewers were not groundless as constant failures and problems with the system settings occurred. In particular, on Friday, January 22, the USAIS hung and was not operating for a few hours, as several participants of the alcohol market out of the wholesalers for whom joining to the USAIS became obligatory since January 1, 2016, said to the newspaper “Vedomosti”.

The disruptions of the accounting system began about 14.00 by Moscow time, as Herman Epstein, the Vice President for information technology of the Baltika brewing company (Russian subsidiary of Carlsberg Group) said to “Vedomosti”. The system started responding to requests so slowly that we had to temporarily suspend the efforts of documents’ registration.

In cases where trucks had already left to the recipients, they also failed to register the acceptance. “There are queues of cars near all retail chains. And, if beer is in the freezing temperature for a few hours, it turns to Ice beer,” jokes Epstein. The disruptions in the USAIS operation ended only by Friday evening, he said.

According to Epstein, the losses due to the disruptions will be calculated from the cost of spoiled beer, fines from the retail chains, transport downtime and the payment of overtime to employees. How much the downtime of the USAIS will cost Baltika has not been counted yet. “If the system hangs for an hour, then the net losses are about 10% of the cost of shipment, then this percentage increases significantly every hour,” said the interlocutor to “Vedomosti”.