HVG hell hammers Spain – fears Costa del Sol bars will run out of booze over soaring costs

BBC viewers hit out at coverage about ‘Christmas shortages’

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Businesses which had finally begun to recover from the disruption caused by numerous lockdowns are now being hit by a different form of disruption. But an industry body says problems have not been caused by the large increase in demand following the reopening of bars and restaurants.

In a statement, a spokesperson for trade body Spirits of Spain said: “The problems are a consequence of the global crisis in transport, which affects international trade and the supply of raw materials.

“We can categorically deny that this situation is due to an exponential increase in consumption but to problems derived from instability in the markets.”

The supply of spirits, including whisky, gin, vodka and rum, is expected to be hit hardest given that it is driven largely by imports.

Beer and wine stocks are, however, expected to remain stable.

Spain is among the top producers of beer and wine in Europe.

Shipping issues are also likely to hit exports of Spanish booze, inflicting further damage on the industry.

Bloomberg reports that 77 percent of ports worldwide are experiencing abnormally long turnaround times.

A shortage of containers, overloaded ports and a shortage of dock workers, among other factors, are driving up global transport costs.


Raw materials are suffering along with freight rates, meaning businesses are having to pay more for key components of the booze industry including glass, cork and cardboard.

With all of these problems hitting at once, Bosco Torremocha, the executive director of the Spanish Spirits Association, believes businesses are likely to be struggling for some time.

“We do not foresee to recover the sales levels of 2019 until the end of next year or the beginning of 2023,” he is quoted as saying in MailOnline.

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But given all the problems faced by the industry right now, Mr Torremocha struggles to focus on the problems of tomorrow.

“I cannot think about the campaign for the end of the year,” he said.

“As a representative of the sector I am focused right now on tomorrow, on how to solve this crisis as soon as possible.”

It’s not unlikely that hospitality settings across Spain will struggle to supply customers with alcoholic staples over the important Christmas period.

Following months of forced closures as part of the Spanish Government’s response to Covid, this latest issue could be the final straw for many already struggling businesses.

Supermarkets appear not to have been hit by shortages just yet.

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