Sales at Systembolaget fell in November. Figures released yesterday show a drop in sales at the Swedish state-owned retailing monopoly, measured in pure alcohol, of 2.4% year-on-year.

Spirits sales fell by 11%, while sales of wine dropped by 1.4% and cider by 4.4%. Sales of strong beer, however, rose by 2.4%. It is the only type of beer available at Systembolaget.

In the south of the country, where sales fell by 19.3% in November, the trend for Swedes travelling to neighbouring Denmark to buy their alcohol continued. In October this year Denmark cut its alcohol excise duties by 47%. In counties closest to Norway sales also fell as Norwegians prefer to travel further to Denmark rather than buy alcohol in Sweden.

In the north of Sweden sales of strong beer and cider rose by 20.5% and 27.4% respectively as Finns cross the border into Sweden to buy their alcohol.

For the period January to November this year, sales measured in pure alcohol rose by 3.6% compared to last year.