Flooding hits island's beer supplies
PHUKET: A shortage of beer on the island is the latest effect of the flooding in Bangkok.
Monday 7 November 2011, 08:59AM
Although supplies of Chang Beer appear to be flowing normally, and Leo is still plentiful, lovers of Singha, Heineken and Tiger are feeling the pinch.
Here’s the situation:
Singha, which is made by Boonrawd Brewery and has for decades been promoted as the Thai beer, has been worst hit by the floods, which have knocked out the brewery.
Singha is hard to find on the island, and when it can be found, tends to be for sale at prices as much as three times as normal.
A Boonrawd spokesperson confirmed to The Phuket News that the Pathum Thani brewery is currently unable to produce beer because there is no electricity. No definite date for resumption of production could be given, the company said.
Phuket Sivalee Co is the local main agent for Singha and Leo beer, and Singha drinking water. Its manager, Manop Hemhong, admitted that supplies of Singha have been dwindling since September.
He said it would be impossible for any retailer to hoard supplies of Singha because Sivalee controls how much each retailer gets, based on a quota system. For the moment, all its regular customers continue to get supplies, though not as much as they might wish for.
He stressed that despite the short supply, Sivalee has not raised its wholesale prices. These are set by Boonrawd at B690 for a case of 24 cans or small bottles of Singha.
Mr Manop added, “Some shops in the beach areas have raised the price to between B1,500 and B1,600 a case [about B65 a can].
“We cannot control the price at which these people sell our beer.”
Patong Whisky Co on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd opposite the Holiday Inn, sells alcohol and cigarettes wholesale. Its manager, Somjai Piyamit, confirmed yesterday, “Singha beer ran out in the middle of October.”
Leo: Supplies of Leo, Mr Manop explained, have been affected to some extent, but not as much as Singha. “This is because Leo is brewed in Khon Kaen, a long way from the serious flooding.”
However, transport through the flooded areas has been a problem. While Phuket Sivalee has been getting regular supplies of Leo, it has been getting large bottles only, Mr Manop said.
In Patong, Ms Somjai said, “We get Leo beer delivered to us every day, though not as much as normal.”
For Leo the wholesale prices are B490 for a case of 12 large bottles, or B568 for a case of 24 cans.
Chang: Unlike all the other beers, supplies of Chang, brewed by ThaiBev in Ayutthaya, Kampaengphet and Wang Noi – in the flood zone – appear to be unaffected so far.
Heineken and Tiger: These are brewed in the same brewery in Nonthaburi.
Jumphol Susangrat, vice president of local agent MM Wine, said that the brewery has not been affected by the floods, but the difficulty of transportation through the floods around Bangkok has caused a bottleneck in the supply line.
“Normally we get four or five deliveries a week, but now it’s only one or two,” he said. However, he said he expected the situation to improve somewhat next week, to three trucks a week.
In Patong Ms Somjai reported that Heineken “has been out of stock for a week, though 200 bottles just came into our store today.”
She added that shipments of cigarettes, although still regular, have recently been smaller than normal. A straw poll by The Phuket News today revealed that some convenience stores on the island have run out of cigarettes while others do not have the full range of brands.
Mr Manop, Ms Somjai and Mr Jumphol all stressed that the prices they charge retailers for alcohol and cigarettes have not gone up despite the shortages.