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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.

SABMiller interested in Castel’s African business

Global brewer SABMiller Plc (SAB.L) said it would be interested in acquiring the African brewing operations of French group Castel if it were available, as the two announced on Monday that they were strengthening their links in Africa.

SABMiller and the privately owned Castel reached a strategic alliance back in 2001 whereby SABMiller took a 20 percent stake in the Paris-based group's beer and soft drinks operations in Africa, and Castel acquired a 38 percent stake in SABMiller's Africa subsidiary.

The two agreed mutual pre-emptive rights over each others' beverage operations in Africa, whereby each has first rights to buy each others' operations if put up for sale, and SABMiller said these rights had now been "clarified and amplified."

"In the light of our overlap in Africa, we would obviously be interested in acquiring the Castel group's interest in the strategic alliance," said a SABMiller spokesman.

Industry sources said there was no indication that the controlling Castel family might want to sell, but there have been reports in the past that SABMiller would like to buy the Castel family out in a deal worth over 6 billion pounds.

As part of the closer alliance, SABMiller said management will be combined in the last two markets in Africa where they both operate individually with SABMiller managing Nigeria and Castel Angola, in a move that reflects how the two operate in the rest of Africa, outside South Africa and Namibia.

13 Jan. 2012

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