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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.

EAC beer makers lose income to the black market

High taxes are choking the alcoholic beverages trade as smuggling across East African borders rob Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) of millions of Shillings.
Spectre International, a spirits mixer, said the uneven tax structures among the East African Community (EAC) partners has spawned a thriving black market.
“Research has shown that high tax rates are a significant motivator for tax evasion and is the major cause of the proliferation of the black market in Kenya,” said Spectre Internationalsales and marketing director Ruth Adhiambo.
Spirits in Kenya attracts Sh280 per litre in excise duty compared to Sh80 per litre in Tanzania and Sh49 per litre in Uganda.
Declining tax compliance, she said, had seen revenue from excise duty fall to below Sh10 million per month because of cross-border smuggling induced by the disparities.
“Policy makers have refused to tackle this challenge and have instead resorted to raising taxes and costly administrative measures,” said Ms Adhiambo.
Smuggling of spirits through KRA manned ports and porous borders has denied alcoholic drinks manufacturers revenue with Ms Adhiambo saying the biggest losers have been distillers, Spectre International Ltd and Agro Chemical and Food Company (ACFC), which have recorded reduced sales.
The distillers say the reduced sales have been worsened by KRA’s requirement for registration of Kenyan firms which import spirits from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, a demand not made by competing exporters in Southern Africa and Asia.
“Uganda and Tanzania are recording significant rise in per capita consumption of spirits,” said Ms Adhiambo.
Producers of alcohol-based products had relocated to other East African countries forcing a shift towards imports of finished products and shrinking the market for local distillers from 100 firms in 2005 to less than 10 presently.
Ms Adhiambo said the introduction of Electronic Cargo Monitoring System (ECMS), flow metres, delayed deliveries and administrative fiat had made Kenyan spirits the most expensive in the region.
She said taxation on denatured spirits— meant for industrial use and essential purposes — should be lifted because it had reduced its consumption from an average of 60, 000 litres per month to less than 5, 000 litres a month.
Mr Caleb Oguya, marketing manager Agro Chemical and Food Company (ACFC) said that the taxation on denatured spirits has eroded sales margins to less than 25 per cent.
“Some of our customers have stopped purchasing from us and are instead importing finished products,” said Mr Oguya.

16 Mar. 2011



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