A shrinking Russian beer market has seen Efes Breweries International report volume sales down by nearly 5% for the first six months of 2009.

Beer sales by volume slipped by 4.6% to 6.7m hectolitres for the six months to the end of June, compared to the same period last year, Turkey-based Efes said today (13 July).

A beer market decline in Russia, which accounts for more 78% of Efes' beer sales, was the main reason for the fall.

However, Efes said it outperformed the Russian market during the period, registering a volume sales slip of 5%, compared to high single digit decline for the sector as a whole.

Russia's beer market has suffered from "the deteriorating consumer demand as a result of the global financial crisis", Efes said.

Kazakhstan proved the most buoyant market for Efes during the half-year, with volume sales up 13.6% to 0.8m hl for the period.

Last week, Efes said it had secured a US$300m loan from major investors.