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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.

Champion Breweries notifies NSE of Consolidated Breweries’ acquisition bid

Champion Breweries plc has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that Consolidated Breweries plc is having discussions in connection with a proposed acquisition of 57 percent of the issued share capital of Champion Breweries plc, held by Montgomery Ventures Inc. of Panama.

Consolidated Breweries plc, a subsidiary of Heineken NV Champion Breweries, said that the discussions, “if successful, could lead to a transaction that will be subject to the relevant legal and regulatory approvals, and will notify The Exchange as it becomes aware of further details.”

It will be recalled that The Netherlands-based brewer, Heineken NV, had announced in January 2011 that it bought a controlling interest in five breweries in Nigeria, a move that most analysts see as a strategy to quickly expand its presence in Nigeria - considered one of the world’s biggest beer markets yet to be fully explored.

The acquisitions, according to agency reports, raise Heineken’s market share in Nigeria to approximately 68 percent, giving it a capacity of close to 16 million hectoliters.

Though Heineken did not provide an estimate of the value of the deal when it was announced in January, a report in the Washington-based Wall Street Journal had quoted an analyst at SNS Securities Richard Withagen as saying it was worth more than $649 million or N101 billion. Company spokesman John Clark said Heineken acquired the breweries through a competitive auction process.

Heineken already owns the Star and Goldberg brands in Nigeria, where its main rival is SABMiller plc. SABMiller and Diageo plc, which markets its Guinness stout in the country, couldn’t immediately be reached to comment on whether they were involved in the auction.

Nigeria’s beer market, in a country with a population of about 150 million, has grown nine percent annually for the past 10 years. Heineken estimated that the total size of the Nigerian beer market was 16.5 million hectoliters in 2009. The five breweries will increase Heineken’s capacity by 3.7 million hectoliters.

ING analyst Gerard Rijk said the purchase is a good move as it will reduce Heineken’s competition and enable the company to expand in a highly profitable market. Mr. Rijk estimates Nigeria is responsible for around two thirds of Heineken’s profit in Africa.

Heineken plans to consolidate the newly acquired breweries into its existing Nigerian business structure in 2011. Heineken already own majority stake in Nigerian Breweries Plc.

19 Apr. 2011

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