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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.

Ball Packaging targets new markets with Serbian canning line

Ball Packaging Europe has opened a new €35m production line at its Serbian plant in Belgrade, as it seeks to penetrate into “new markets”.

The company, headquartered in Germany, said its new line would increase production at the site in the Zemun district of Belgrade from 750m to over 1.5bn aluminium cans a year, and create 50 new jobs.

Factory director David Banjai said: “New investment, aside from confirming the strength and efficiency of our business, leads to growth and expansion into new markets.”

Favourable trade arrangements

Cans produced at the site were principally exported to 12 European countries (85 per cent to neighbouring countries according to Ball) at the current time, Banjaj said.

“Now the aim is to further expand our business into new markets and also to take advantage of favourable trade arrangements with Serbia’s neighbouring countries,” he added.

John Hayes, president and ceo of Ball Corporation said: “The factory in Serbia has so far justified our investment. We hope we will continue to do business here successfully into the future.”

Gerrit Heske, president of Ball Packaging Europe added that he hoped the company’s investment in Serbia would encourage other concerns to invest in the country.

“The plant in Zemun has previously achieved excellent results and features on the list of the most successful Ball factories in Europe,” Heske said.

Large greenfield development

Serbian president Boris Tadic opened the new line last Friday, and Ball said the investment was a significant contribution to Serbian foreign trade and development.

Established in 2004, Ball Packaging's Belgrade site has been described as the largest greenfield development in southeastern Europe by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

According to the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Ball originally built its Serbian facility to “keep pace” with forecast double-digit growth in demand for cans from nations such as Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia.

A Ball Corporation subsidiary, Ball Packaging Europe employs 2,800 staff across 12 sites in Serbia, Germany, France, Great Britain, Holland and Poland.

20 Sep. 2011

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