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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.

UK: Pub closures running at 25 per week – new national and regional survey

Pubs are closing at the rate of 25 per week, as the trade continues to face tough conditions in all parts of Britain, according to new figures released on Wednesday. The British Beer & Pub Association, which commissioned the new survey, says that the Government should now abandon plans for a huge seven per cent increase in Beer Tax in the Budget next week. The BBPA says that with the right policies, the beer and pub sector, which employs almost 1 million people, could play a leading role in bringing the economy out of recession.
While the closure rate has slowed from the previous year’s 40 per week, there were almost 1,300 fewer pubs in Britain by the end of 2010. With a typical pub employing around ten people, this represents a net loss of jobs of around 13,000 across the country. Pubs are closing in every part of England, as well as in Scotland and Wales. The rate of losses is highest in London and the North West, though all regions are suffering a decline.
With beer still the key seller for pubs, huge rises in Beer Tax, which has gone up by 26 per cent since March 2008, are a huge drag on the sector, says the BBPA. To add to the problem, the Government plans a further, swingeing seven per cent rise in duty in the Budget, through the controversial policy of the beer duty escalator. This is set to add two per cent above inflation to the existing duty burden, which would add 3.5 pence in Beer Tax on a typical pint, with bar prices set to rise by up to ten pence a pint. Taken with the VAT increase in January, the Government is heading for the biggest ever tax hike on beer in a single year.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:
“The closure of 25 pubs every week is bad news for the economy, as the sector plays such a vital role. It’s also a blow for local communities, with pubs often acting as the hub of local life.
“With the right policies, this vital part of our tourism and hospitality sector could be creating new jobs, and helping to bring Britain out of recession. If we really do have a pub-friendly government as the Prime Minister says, the time to act is now – with a freeze in beer duty in the Budget.“

20 Mar. 2011

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