22 November 2008
A Liquor Shortage for Jakarta
I do not go out all that often and I am guessing that I will probably not be going out at all for the foreseeable future with "The Kid" being born in a mere six days from now. However, I did notice recently that the price of my regular vodka & cranberry has almost doubled in price in just over a week. I just figured this was a trickle down on the imploding global economy that is being propped up by various bail out packages throughout the world. But, alas, it has more to do with a liquor shortage.
Probably more specifically it has to do with the sudden ratcheting-up of excise or duties on imported alcohol that now sees some 60 containers of liquor sitting idly in some Indonesian ports. The duty on the imported alcohol sitting in Indonesian ports is 300% apparently and importers are refusing to cough up and pay the higher duties. This is but part of the problem. The Government also imposes a quota on imported alcohol. This is designed to protect local producers from the market power of big multinational alcoholic beverage producers.
Nevertheless, standard fare is that this quota is usually tapped out by mid-year and the lack of further imports leads to plenty of smuggled liquor and other less than legal mechanisms of getting more imported liquor into the market.
The end result is that this is likely to make business difficult for places that sell alcohol as people are likely to be much more discerning when it comes to drinking and how much they drink. A three-drink night may well become a one-drink night and an early night at that. The trickle down effect is likely to not only impact the bottom lines of the businesses but also the people that they support, such as staff.
It looks like I will be saving some money.