The world's beer markets are increasingly turning to wine, while the traditional non-beer drinking countries are consuming larger quantities of lagers and ales.

Statistics released this week by NTC Publications, in World Drink Trends 2000, show that countries "traditionally associated with high levels of beer consumption [are] moving away from beer and consuming greater quantities of wine instead. The UK alone has seen an increase of 401.7% in wine consumption between 1970 and 1999."

The report, which covered over 60% of the global population, also demonstrates the increasing popularity of beer in countries that do not traditionally drink it in large quantities, such as Brazil, Paraguay and Turkey. Although these markets are predominantly outside the West they also include Portugal and Spain.

In fact, most countries covered in the report have seen an increase in beer consumption. The UK and other traditional beer markets however are facing diminishing consumption patterns. The UK has seen a decline of 3.9% since 1970.

Beer production has continued to increase, fast approaching 1.4m hectolitres worldwide in 1998 and has more than doubled since 1970. These increases have generally come from traditionally minor beer-producing countries. South Korea and the Philippines increased production in 1998 to the same levels as Belgium. While Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela and Argentina have entered the top 25 ranked countries for beer production.

In contrast, levels of wine production fell in 1998, having also decreased in1997. For the first time in several years, France lost its title as the world's biggest wine producer to Italy.