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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.

Russia plans crackdown on sale of beer

* Lower parliament chamber may pass bill this week
* Bill's passage a formality -source
* Beer sales would be banned in shops 11pm-8am, from Jan. 2013
* Total ban at other locations, including outdoor kiosks
* Carlsberg shares slump 4pct; Russia is brewer's biggest market

Russia is planning further tough restrictions on the sale and consumption of beer, hitting shares in Danish brewer and Russia market leader Carlsberg (CARLb.CO).

A proposed lower parliament bill would ban all beer sales at outdoor kiosks, public transport stations, airports and petrol stations, which account for around one-third of national sales.

The bill, which would become law from January 2013 if approved, would also prohibit shops from selling beer between 11pm and 8am.

Shares in Danish brewer Carlsberg (CARLb.CO) slid 4.21 percent by 1450 GMT on concerns that Russia, its largest single market, would pass the law.

Carlsberg owns the best-selling Baltika brand and has an overall 40 percent share of the Russian market.

Part of the government's long-running campaign to curb alcoholism, the move comes less than two years after an unexpected trebling of beer excise duties caused an outcry among brewers.

Beer sales are yet to recover to pre-financial crisis levels due to the tax rise, which was passed on to drinkers. Carlsberg CEO Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen told Reuters last month he hoped Russians switching to beer from vodka would aid market growth.

FORMALITY

A beer industry source told Reuters the lower parliament, the Duma, may pass the bill this week, before the summer recess.

The bill would then have to be endorsed by the Federation Council upper parliament chamber and signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev.

"In fact the bill has already been passed," the source said speaking on condition of anonymity. "The bill has been approved during its discussion. Only the voting remains, which is rather a formality."

Other major brewers operating in Russia are Anheuser-Busch InBev , SABMiller and Heineken .

"We support the ban of beer sales at night, especially as we have been granted a grace period," Kirill Bolmatov, director for the government relations of SABMiller Russia, told Reuters.

"The volume sold through kiosks will be redistributed and sold in supermarkets, restaurants, bars and cafes."

He said the ban on beer consumption in public places may hit sales volume significantly in the short term, but added the company understood the logic behind the decision.

"I believe it will have a short-lasting effect. We understand how drinking beer in the streets irritates people, therefore we do not complain," Bolmatov said.

Russia last introduced restrictions in 2005, banning beer consumption on public transport and various public places.

7 Jul. 2011

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