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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.

RLPC-ABInBev seeks to cut pricing on $8 bln loan

Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world's largest brewer, is seeking to slash its borrowing cost on an existing $8 billion syndicated loan, banking sources said on Thursday.

The company has asked its banks to cut pricing on the $8 billion revolving credit to around 45 basis points (bp) from around 75 bp, banking sources said.

ABInBev joins a long list of highly-rated blue-chip companies that are taking advantage of improved loan market conditions to cut the pricing on loans arranged only last year.

The changes are being done via a loan amendment which is being arranged by ABInBev, one of the sources said. AB InBev declined to comment.

AB InBev secured $17.2 billion of long-term financing in February 2010 which refinanced the remainder of the company's $45 billion loan facilities that financed the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch in 2008.

The $17.2 billion of loans comprised a $5 billion, five-year term loan paying 117.5 bp over LIBOR, an $8 billion, five-year revolving credit facility paying 97.5 bp over LIBOR and $4.2 billion of bilateral facilities.

The bilateral facilities were cancelled at the end of March 2010.

Margins on the $8 billion revolving credit fell to the current 75 bp level from 95 bp after ABInBev's rating was upgraded by the ratings agencies. The company is rated A- by Standard & Poor's, Baa1 by Moody's and A- by Fitch.

The $8 billion revolving credit facility also paid a commitment fee of 35 percent of the margin on undrawn available funds and a utilisation fee of up to 30 bp depending on the amount drawn.

10 Jun. 2011



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