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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.

Japan. First-half beer shipments fall to record low since 1992

In Japan shipments of beer and quasi-beer decreased by 3.5% year-on-year to 200,323,000 cases in the first half of 2011, data released on Tuesday by the country’s five major brewers showed. This is the lowest since comparable statistics became available in 1992. The previous low was recorded in 2010.

During the first half of this year, shipments of “regular” beer fell by 4.8% and “happo-shu” low-malt beer by 12.5% year-on-year, Asahi Breweries reported.

In contrast, shipments of third-category beer increased by 3.2% during the six-month period compared to the same period in 2010.

The record low in shipments is mainly due to the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in March, that damaged breweries while interrupting beer transports. But beer shipments decreased clearly by 11.0% in June, a figure larger than the 5.3% drop in March, according to Asahi. The drop is also attributed to fewer after-work drinking parties and retailers’ refraining from special sales following the March disaster. Another reason might be the newfound popularity of “retro drinks” such as highballs or whiskey and soda, which were already affecting beer shipments before March, it is reported. The lower demand is also due to the earlier than usual start of the rainy season that also dampened Japan’s beer shipments.

All five largest brewers reported drops in shipments in the period and the rankings remained unchanged from the same period in 2010.

Asahi Breweries Ltd. with a market share of 37.8% is still number one in Japan’s beer market.

Kirin Brewery Co. ranks second at 36.1%.

Suntory Liquors Ltd. holds 13.6% of the market, followed by Sapporo Breweries Ltd. at 11.6% and Orion Breweries Ltd. at 0.9%.

(One case contains the equivalent of 20 633-milliliter bottles.)

15 Jul. 2011

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