China has posted rises in the annual production of beer, wine and spirits according to recent figures. While spirits only rose slightly, beer and wine production in 2004 increased markedly.

The country's spirit output last year hit 3.12m tons, a rise of 2% year-on-year, according to the general manager of the China National Sugar and Alcohol Group Corp. Total industrial output value from the country's spirit-making industry was up by 19.2% on 2003, reaching CNY66bn, Wang Xinguo said. Profits leapt by 38.9% year-on-year to CNY6bn.

Wine production also increased, by 14.8% year-on-year, to 370,000 tons, according to statistics released at a trade fair on sweets and alcoholic drinks in Chengdu in Sichuan Province. Wine sales value was up by an impressive 17.1%, hitting CNY7.4bn.

China's brewers maintained the country's ranking as the world's biggest beer producer last year, as production rose by 15.2% year-on-year to 29.1m tons. In value terms, annual output totalled CNY64.6bn, a rise of 15%. Pre-tax profits rose by 16.7% to CNY14bn.