Beer production in Russia is being forecast to rise by 7.5% during 2003 to 758m decalitres according to a statement issued by Alexander Pavlov, the deputy head of the Agriculture Ministry's food industry department.

Pavlov, who was speaking at the 10th international beer and soft drinks exhibition in St Petersburg, said that Russian brewers' output is also expected to show annual rises of between 10% to 15% during the next few years.

The Ministry is forecasting beer output of around 800m decaliters in 2004 and at 828m decaliters in 2005. Pavlov also said that bottled water output is forecast to rise by between 10% and 15% annually over the next few years.