The development might be endogenous...

…but the booze is exogenous.

Scotch sales in Venezuela grew 55 pct in ’05

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela’s Scotch whisky market, one of the world’s largest, grew by 55 percent during last year and topped the previous sales record set in 2002, a top industry official said.

Juan Valcarcel, Venezuelan brand manager for global drinks maker Diageo, told Reuters the three categories of scotch — standard, luxury and super luxury — showed an important expansion in a market that consumes more than 2.6 million boxes of imported and domestic whiskey per year.

“If we compare 2005 to 2004, the Scotch whisky market has grown by around 55 percent,” Valcarcel said. “At the close of 2005 we were above 2002 consumption, which was a record year.”

In 2002, the annual consumption of whiskey was 1.8 million boxes of scotch, but this declined as the result of a bitter two-and-a-half year political conflict over the rule of President Hugo Chavez.

According to figures from UK-based Diageo, Venezuela is currently the largest consumer of whiskey in Latin America and one of the eight largest in the world.

Valcarcel said the increase is the result of a rise in per capita whiskey consumption, an increase in duty free whiskey sales and a strong advertising campaign by distributors.

At this rate she’ll have to change her name to Lina Güisqui…