Finns are expected to import more alcohol from Estonia after they lowered the alcohol tax by 25 percent in July. Stock picture: Finland Today

Sales of alcohol have plummeted 7.5 percent in August when compared to the corresponding time period last year, according to the latest statistics of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). (Link to Excel file.)

When comparing to the statistics of 2018, the period between January and August, the sales have also somewhat dropped.

Less alcohol was also sold through retail and service; a drop of two percent in the year’s first two-thirds. The sales of wine, especially, have slowed down by a tenth, and the sales of beer have dropped somewhat.

What is going on here? Have the Finns started to drink less, like the Swedes, perhaps? (According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Swedes drink 17 percent less alcohol than Finns.)

Perhaps not.

The sales of hard liquor increased between January and August by more than seven percent. Flavored liquor and bitters were especially popular.

Also, travellers’ alcohol imports are estimated to increase from Estonia after our southern neighbor lowered the alcohol tax by 25 percent at the beginning of July.