China's liquor makers saw sales grow by 31.08 percent to 97.03 billion yuan last year (about US$12.6 billion), while the number of liquor makers dropped to 18,000.
Thanks to restructuring efforts in the industry, the number of spirit enterprises dropped from 37,000 in 1989 to 18,000 at the end of 2006, said Wang Yancai, head of the China Alcoholic Drinks Industry Association.
The prices of spirits rose due to rising cost of raw materials and the levy of consumption tax.
Maotai, a prestigious liquor maker in southwest China's Guizhou Province, reported 5.3 billion yuan (about US$688.3 million) of sales volume last year, compared with about 4.2 billion yuan (about US$538.46 million) in the previous year.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2007)