Russia's production of strong alcohol, including vodka, fell in 2003. Figures released today by the country's National Alcohol Association show that production fell by 3.3% last year.

The association said that 464 companies produced 1.34 billion litres of strong alcohol.

While production of strong alcohol fell, wine, cognacs and champagne production rose in 2003. A total of 327 wine producers turned out 365m litres of wine, an increase of 9.7% year-on-year. Around 100 companies produced cognacs and turned out 35m litres, up by 32.9%. Champagne production was up by 8.3% to 88m litres.

A total of 110 companies produced 459m litres of low-alcohol content beverages, a climb of 37.5%.