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4-2017

Global hop market

A local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms. 

Hop Market in Russia

Germany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.

Asahi drops out of Foster’s beer race

Japanese beverage giant Asahi Breweries has taken itself out of the running to buy Foster's beer arm in the lead up to the historic $11 billion demerger of the Australian brewer.
At an earnings briefing in Japan overnight Asahi President Naoki Izumiya said he had no interest in the beer assets which include a portfolio of leading brands such as VB, Carlton Draught and Cascade.
Foster's shares ended the day down 6 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $5.68, extending the drop to the past four trading days.
Advertisement: Story continues below "The price is expensive and recently (Australia's) market is looking tough," President Izumiya told reporters after a press briefing in Tokyo.
Last year's decision by the Foster's board to split its beer division from its global wine operation sparked speculation that a rival brewing company would swoop on the beer assets. Asahi and SABMiller were touted as frontrunners for the business.
Japanese brewing and food manufacturers have been particularly interested in buying overseas consumer goods businesses to broaden their exposure outside of their stagnating domestic market.
In 2009 Kirin's launched a $3.5 billion acquisition of Lion Nathan, handing it a range of popular beers and beverages. Also two years ago rival Asahi Breweries bought Schweppes Australia's soft drink operation for $1.185 billion.
But it looks as though Asahi now sees its growth coming from regions other than Australia. In August, Mr Izumiya told Reuters in an interview the company was considering expanding ties with South Korea's top beverage firm Lotte Group and that it wanted to lift its stake in China's Tsingtao Brewery.
Foster's will release its half-year results next week where it is expected to provide further details about its proposed demerger of the beer and wine businesses.
9 Feb. 2011

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