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.
Foster’s board unanimously recommends shareholders reject SABMiller’s offer
Foster’s board believes the offer “significantly undervalues” its company. The offer is also highly conditional and subject to significant uncertainty, the board said.
David Crawford AO Chairman wrote in a statement to Foster’s shareholders:
“Your Board believes strongly in Foster’s future.
- Foster’s is an iconic Australian beverages company with market leadership in both the beer and cider categories. Foster’s has an outstanding portfolio of brands, including Victoria Bitter (number 1 regular beer), Carlton Draught (number 1 draught beer), Crown Lager (number 1 domestic premium beer), Corona (number 1 imported beer) and Strongbow (number 1 cider brand).
- The demerger of Treasury Wine Estates has allowed Foster’s to return to being a dedicated beer and cider business. The longer term benefits of the demerger have not yet been realised.
- Foster’s has continued to strengthen the capability and depth of your management team. Chief Executive Officer John Pollaers and his experienced team have put in place a robust strategy to bring Foster’s to its full potential. Significant progress has been made and the business turnaround is on track.
- Foster’s has announced a phased program of cost reduction building on its existing cost leadership. The first phase is forecast to deliver approximately $55 million of annual benefits by the end of fiscal 2013. A second phase of initiatives – to be finalised in the coming months – is expected to realise additional benefits in fiscal 2013 and beyond.
- Foster’s has provided shareholders with strong dividend returns and your Board expects the dividend payout ratio to remain at least 80% of net profit before material items.
- Foster’s successfully concluded its long running Ashwick litigation in 2011, resulting in a total cash benefit to shareholders of approximately $835 million (via a combination of the cash refunds received, and receivable, from the Commissioner of Taxation and reduced income tax payments in future years).
- Excellent cash flow generation and a low level of net debt provides Foster’s with the flexibility to invest for future growth and conduct disciplined capital management. As an example of this, your Board has determined to return at least $500 million to shareholders in fiscal 2012 by way of a capital reduction or share buyback, subject to market conditions.”
15 Sep. 2011