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The SAQ Is Raising Prices — Starting Next Week

Yes, again.

Senior Editor
SAQ logo on a store in Montreal.

SAQ logo on a store in Montreal.

That sangria you make for Montreal park hangs is about to get more expensive. The SAQ is raising prices just in time for summer.

Beginning Sunday, May 22, 2,550 regular products at the provincial liquor store will see an average price increase of 3.7%, or $0.78. 182 products will decrease in price by an average of 2.1%, or $0.62.

The price of 1,328 specialty products will increase by an average of 3.3%. 157 specialty products will decrease in price by an average of 2.6%.

The SAQ already increased prices in November, July and March 2021.

In a press release, the Crown corporation said the move was necessary because of global supply chain problems that have been ongoing since 2020. The company also said its suppliers have seen their own costs increase due to shortages of "dry material," such as bottles and corks, as well as labour shortages.

Some wine-producing regions are further dealing with climate-related strains on supply, despite what the SAQ described as strong demand for their products. The company said products from the Loire, Beaujolais, and Burgundy regions of France have seen particularly steep price increases: 5.5%, 6.4%, and 7.7%, respectively.

Finally, the SAQ is pointing the finger at the federal government, which increased the excise duty on wine by 2.4% on April 1.

"Our suppliers are facing major challenges as inflation peaks around the world," SAQ CEO Catherine Dagenais said in the press release.

She asserted that the SAQ has "negotiated rigorously" with suppliers "to maintain the necessary balance between offering a fair and competitive price to [...] customers and meeting the legitimate demands of [...] suppliers who are facing significant challenges."

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