Pivnoe Delo


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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.

Australia. Foster’s believes the sales will flow

FOSTER'S chief John Pollaers has hit back at claims the company is losing beer market share and playing into the hands of takeover predator SABMiller.

Industry scan track figures by Nielsen show that, in the first three weeks of August, Foster's sales dropped to 44.6 per cent of the packaged beer market by volume, a loss of 1.9 per cent. Arch-rival Lion Nathan increased 2.5 per cent to 43.6 per cent.

Mr Pollaers insisted that the figures did not conflict with his assurances to shareholders that Foster's had a "key win" in stabilising the long-term decline in its market share.

He indicated yesterday a loss in market share in the short-term was predictable because the brewer had refused to heavily discount its products to compete.

But he stuck to his view that such discounting would prove unsustainable and that Foster's would regain its premium position in the longer term.

"We've said before that we're not prepared to lose market share without making a deliberate decision to do so and fully understanding the consequences," Mr Pollaers said.

The Takeovers Panel has already been forced to adjudicate in the bitter $9.5 billion takeover battle after SABMiller claimed Foster's results were misleading and deceptive. It decided the claims were not worth investigating.

SABMiller has refused to budge from its offer of $4.77 a share. Foster's share price closed yesterday down 3c at $4.88

15 Sep. 2011



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