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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.

European Union – Malting barley unlinks from other grain markets

Different from other grains, malting barley prices in the EU have moved slightly higher. Just like crude oil, corn and wheat have reacted on growing concerns of a slowdown of economic growth and the European debt crisis, whereas malting barley has remained stable and even trended higher for some origins and shipment periods.

While from crop 2011 Denmark still seems to have the EU’s largest spring malting barley surplus, the availability of malting barley from other sources is getting more scarce. For that reason, UK malting barley has developed a premium of over 20 Euro/mt over the Danish origin. Interestingly, the specifications for both should be the same. The physical demand for Ready-to-process malting barley made buyers pay such premiums, as from Denmark one would have to check the maltability of every single lot shipped. A second reason is the better phytosanitary condition of UK barley compared to Denmark and Sweden.

Due to the fact, that more malting barley will have to be downgraded to feed barley in Scandinavia, the expectations of ending stocks have lately been corrected to the downside. Markets now expect an early demand for malting barley from crop 2012 for replenishing the run-down malting barley stocks at the maltings. Earliest malting barley available is usually of french origin, which is why the currently paid premium for french origin seems to be establishing in crop 2012 as well.

29 Nov. 2011

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