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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.

Belarus Urges Russia to Recognize Beer Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Belarus insists on Russia's no longer equating beer to alcohol. These conditions were laid down by Belarus during the negotiation of a draft technical regulation "On the security of alcoholic beverages," planned within the Customs Union. Representatives of the Belarusian brewing industry claim that considering beer an alcoholic drink will excessively tighten regulation of the industry.

The Belarusian side insists on changing the current draft regulation, as its adoption will cause significant financial costs for Belarusian breweries, RBC.

"At the moment about 80% of the beer market in Belarus is represented by PET bottle- production. If beer is equated to alcohol, Belarusian manufacturers will have to restructure its manufacturing facilities for producing special glass bottles. This will require huge investing," said Chief of the brewing industry of Belgospischeprom State Concern Eugeni Mariushich.

According to Belgospischeprom, re-equipment of Belarusian breweries will require at least $450 million. This in turn will increase the payback periods and lower output, as well as will cause the closure of some plants.

In turn, executive director of the Belarusian Guild of Brewers Vladislav Skrebtsov notes that the adoption of technical regulations in the current edition, part of the Belarusian producers may leave the market. "We have very strict laws governing the circulation of alcoholic beverages: alcohol is not permitted for everyone, while beer in Belarus is seen as a nonalcoholic product," said Vladislav Skrebtsov.

In Russia, beer was equated to alcohol in July 2011. The Russian side does not support the idea of Minsk. If the brewing industry in the Customs Union is regulated by specific technical regulations, Russia will have to review all amendments to the law "On state regulation of alcohol market." Meanwhile, another member of the Customs Union – Kazakhstan - is against the trade of beer in plastic packaging.

25 Oct. 2011

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