Global hop marketA 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 RussiaGermany 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.
10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
Beer market of Russia 2016: PET goes to draftThe beer market of Russia was warmed up by the hot summer, but the preparation for large volume PET prohibition has already impacted it negatively. The year was successful for Efes, MBC and regional producers; Carlsberg’s positions were virtually stable but AB InBev and Heineken lost a part of market share having focused on the sales profitability. The dynamics of big brands was determined by how much the companies were willing to keep the prices down or by their promotional activity. In this context the economy segment of the beer market and sales of inexpensive draft beer were increasing. The premium segment started shrinking due to license brands migrating to the mainstream segment.
SABMiller Under Scrutiny
The June 28 meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, will follow reports from a nonprofit antipoverty group that said London-based SABMiller used various methods to reduce its tax liability in Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa. The year-old, 31-member African Tax Administration Forum invited those four countries, plus Mauritius, to discuss SABMiller's tax payments.
The forum's mission is to train and provide technical support to tax officials in member countries so they can plug "leakages," said Logan Wort, ATAF's executive secretary.
"This is no witch hunt," Mr. Wort said. "We're saying: 'Please come, please invest, but please respect the legislation that is there.' " The meeting doesn't mean action will be taken against SABMiller.
SABMiller said it hasn't dodged taxes and that the nonprofit group's report is "flawed." The company said it paid more than $2 billion in taxes to African countries over the past year.
Even as faster economic growth in Africa improves earnings, governments are struggling to fund improvements in health care, education and other basic services. That has fueled efforts to plug loopholes and stem corruption that allowed billions of dollars to leave the countries. Mr. Wort estimated that African governments struggle to collect even 30% of the taxes they are owed.
ActionAid, a London-based nonprofit antipoverty group, said last year that multinational corporations are depriving African countries of tax revenue.
The group said SABMiller costs governments in Africa and other developing countries nearly ?20 million, or about $30 million, a year in lost revenue. ActionAid said SABMiller reduced its tax liability by registering brands and paying managers through countries with comparatively low royalty fees and tax rates. The group said SABMiller's weren't illegal, but that countries should limit companies' abilities to avoid higher tax payments.
SABMiller said it has paid what it owed. The company, with breweries in 11 African countries, said it paid $1.5 billion in taxes to South Africa and $600 million to other African countries in the year through May.
"SABMiller has worked in forums with ATAF in the past. We are open to discussing with them the allegations made by ActionAid," a SABMiller spokeswoman said. "We do not engage in aggressive tax planning in any part of our operations, and the report includes a number of flawed and inaccurate assumptions." The company said, for example, that the ActionAid report assumed a profit at SABMiller's Accra, Ghana, brewery for a period when the operation was unprofitable.
Zambian authorities said they are investigating commodities trader Glencore International PLC, and its Mopani Copper mine. Following an audit of the mining industry, Glencore was asked to pay more taxes, Zambian officials said.
The audit, conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, said Glencore inflated its costs and undervalued its minerals, reducing its tax exposure. "There are clear indications from the comparative analysis that there are major problems with both the revenues and the costs of Mopani," according to the audit report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Glencore which is listed in Hong Kong and London, said auditors failed to take into account factors that lowered the company's exposure. For example, the company said that because it processes a large quantity of material for other companies, Glencore's own exports are less than the audit assumed. Glencore also said that higher labor and electricity costs lowered the company's earnings, reducing Glencore's tax exposure.
The Glencore unit said the company's own annual audit, by Deloitte LLP, "has always been unqualified and above the board," according to an April advertisement that Glencore placed in Zambia's Post newspaper.
Meanwhile, ATAF member Sierra Leone said it is reviewing multiyear tax agreements it had reached with mining companies, concerned that the agreements were unfavorable to the government.
Analysts said multinationals and major resource companies are able to find tax loopholes without evading taxes. "Multinational companies can easily take these countries for a ride," said Dev Kar, a senior economist at Washington-based Global Financial Integrity, a nonprofit group aimed at curtailing illegal cross-border financial flows. "They have cards in their favor, whereas smaller countries do not have the skilled manpower."
18 Jun. 2011