Liquor Sales: Pressure to Lift Restrictions

In Panama, the guild of companies in the alcoholic beverages sector are asking the authorities to put an end to the Dry Law, which has been stricter in the context of the covid-19 outbreak and the decreed home quarantine.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

In order to reduce crime and avoid crowding, the authorities had prohibited the consumption, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages until the end of the State of Emergency decreed by the spread of covid-19.

See "Beer: Brands, Tastes and Potential Market"

The measures were made more flexible when Executive Decree 612 was published in the Official Journal on May 8, establishing the provisions for the gradual lifting of the restrictions.

Now the business association is calling for the elimination of all restrictions, arguing that "... International experience indicates that ensuring physical distance is the crucial factor in stopping the spread of the virus and not the restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages."

Elcapitalfinanciero.com reports that, in the statement issued by the businessmen, they explain that the producers are concerned "... about the damage that the Dry Law continues to generate to the industry, currently there are thousands of collaborators and families who may be affected, since a large number of jobs are at risk."

Also see "Energy Drinks: What Brands Do You Prefer in the Region?"

If the restrictions are removed, the companies assure that they will be able to maintain the jobs, the tax collection and eliminate the incentive to illicit trade.

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More on this topic

Beer: Business with Mexico Still Rising

July 2020

From January to April 2020, Central American companies imported $30 million in malt beer from Mexico, 7% more than in the same period in 2019.

Figures from the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData: [GRAFICA caption="Click to interact with graphic"]

Pandemic, Smuggling and Black Market

April 2020

Given the crisis in the region, businessmen in Guatemala report that smuggling of Mexican products has increased, while in Panama, beer producers attribute the rise in illegal trade in alcoholic beverages to the dry law.

With the spread of Covid-19, governments in Central America have decreed mandatory quarantines and have also restricted the movement of consumers at certain hours.

Beverage: Post-Quarantine Consumption Forecast

April 2020

As Central American economies ease the restrictions that have been placed on the spread of covid-19, sales of bottled water are forecast to decline by at least 2%.

Using a demand/income sensitivity model developed by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, variations in household demand for different goods and services can be projected as the most critical phases in the spread of covid-19 are overcome and mobility restrictions are lifted in the countries of the region.

Alcoholic Beverages: Production Falls 6% in 2019

January 2020

During 2019, the production of alcoholic beverages in the country was 285 million liters, 6% less than the same period in 2018.

The most recent data published by the General Comptroller of the Republic, states that the production of alcoholic beverages in general reported a decline, from 302 million liters in 2018, to 285 million liters in 2019.

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