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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.

SABMiller edges higher on frothy talk of merger with ABInbev

SABMiller is bucking the downward trend at the moment, as vague talk swirls round the market about a possible merger with rival ABInbev.
SAB is up 7p at 1990.5p but there is some scepticism over the story. One broker said ABInbev had its own integration process to complete, while SAB has been linked with Fosters in Australia, but seems most keen to expand its presence in emerging markets, including Africa.
The latest talk could have come from a note this week from Collins Stewart, which said:
The acquisition of SABMiller, combining the two leading industry players, which we have long seen as the logical endgame for ABI, now looks to be feasible. We think ABI could and should bid, that it will have looked closely at doing so, and that making a move soon is strategically sensible.
SAB would have to weigh the option of recommending a bid very carefully. Buying Fosters brewing business in the
meantime appears a reasonable move, but risks drawing the bid from ABI.
Anti-trust issues are few, with the US and the soft drinks businesses being the main ones, and we think there are multiple solutions in all areas including China, where a stake could be offered to the Chinese in order to bring about the optimal solution in terms of asset retention.

16 Mar. 2011



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