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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.

Foster’s Says It Is Aware of Buyout Talk

Australian brewing giant Foster's Group Ltd. said Friday it had nothing to disclose in regard to a potential buyout of the brewer after media reports indicated bidders were beginning to circle.

Foster's shares were up 5.1% earlier in the trading session, prompting the Australian Stock Exchange to inquire about the stock's rising price. The group noted the media speculation about a potential bid but said it didn't have anything to disclose to the market.

Foster's beer business has long been considered a potential takeover target amid global consolidation in the brewing industry. The company's shares lost some momentum in late trading, and were recently up 3.5% at A$4.43 after trading as high as A$4.62.

Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo SAB de CV and North American rival Molson Coors Brewing Co. have been exploring a possible joint bid for Foster's, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing five people with knowledge of the situation. A takeover could face challenges if brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, which owns 50% of Modelo, seeks to block a deal, the people told Bloomberg.

At the current share price, Foster's has a market capitalization of A$8.67 billion ($9.11 billion).

Foster's announced it would officially demerge its wine and beer assets in February, a move that was long suspected. The company's wine assets have been a drag on the bottom line in recent year. The operations have been plagued by write-downs owing to an oversupply of grapes and wines from Australia in the global marketplace, the financial crisis and a strong Australian dollar, making it difficult for Foster's to grow sales of its premium wines in key markets like the U.S.

Sales of beer in Australia have come under pressure in recent years as specialist boutique and low-carbohydrate beers have grown in popularity. In Foster's most recent financial results, the Carlton and United Breweries beer volumes for Australia declined 5.8%. Management said its beer division was hurt by a "significant decline" in beer-market volume in Australia.

Foster's beer brands include VB, Carlton Draught and low-carb beer Pure Blonde.

4 Jun. 2011



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