The beer market dynamics in Russia is approaching zero, yet major brewers are divided into those who developed considerably in 2017 and those who considerably reduced their volumes. For instance, company Efes has managed to substantially extend their sales due to restrained pricing policy and activity in the modern trade. Heineken has also demonstrated an excellent performance promoted by significant increase of advertisement budgets launching a non-alcohol sort of the title brand and unusual activity in the economy market segment. Carlsberg and AB InBev have been focusing on margins and lost a market share of their inexpensive brands. Serious dependence on PET package and mass enthusiasm about Zhigulevskoe have negatively impacted the most of big regional brewers, that have been for the first time pressed by the leaders in the key sales channels, especially in Volga and Central regions. In the small business there has been a noticeable slowdown in appearing of new restaurant breweries, yet the number of craft breweries has been growing rapidly. In 2018, the beer market is likely to grow a little, while the share of AB InBev Efes may decrease due to the integration. ...
“Catalogue of Russian Beer Producers 2018” includes 1070 businesses ranging from large subsidiaries of international companies to rather small restaurant and craft microbreweries.The catalogue includes 32 large breweries, 75 regional breweries, 693 industrial mini- and microbreweries as well as 270 restaurant breweries. ...
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.
Asahi seen as frontrunner to buy StarBev -sources
* Sale of CVC's StarBev could come within two weeks
* StarBev sale could raise about $3 bln for CVC Capital
By Victoria Howley and David Jones
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Japanese brewer Asahi is emerging as a frontrunner to buy eastern European brewer StarBev in a deal expected to fetch up to $3 billion for private equity owner CVC Capital Partners, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The private equity group, which bought StarBev in December 2009, is gearing up to sell the business in around two weeks after receiving approaches from a number of global brewing groups, the people said.
"Asahi have put a big price on the table, and we would expect a resolution in around two weeks time," said one person involved in the sale process.
All parties either declined to comment or could not immediately be reached for comment.
CVC bought the business from the world's biggest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, calling it StarBev after its Czech beer Staropramen, and although AB-InBev has the "right of first offer," bankers and analysts believe it will not be tempted as it has its eyes on bigger beer markets.
The most interest in StarBev so far has come from Asahi, Carlsberg, SABMiller and AB-InBev, while other brewers such as Heineken and Molson Coors were less enthusiastic, the people said.
"We would expect a result for someone in the next two weeks, and all the talk is of Asahi," one of the people said.
Although the business is in countries like the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary and has been hit by recent weakness in eastern European economies, it is still seen as a long-term growth story in a rapidly consolidating global brewing world.
Other Japanese drinks groups Kirin and privately owned Suntory have shown less interest. Kirin bought Brazil's second biggest brewer Schincariol for nearly $4 billion last year, while Suntory is not keen on buying into European beer, the people added.
Asahi, the brewer of Japan's top-selling beer "Super Dry" has been on the acquisition trail buying up New Zealand ready-to-drink cocktail maker Independent Liquor last summer for $1.3 billion in its biggest ever deal, and in recent years has bought a stake in China's Tsingtao and the Australian business of Schweppes.
Last year, Asahi president Naoki Izumiya signalled more overseas deals were likely and, after looking in China, Asia and Oceania, it would search outside those areas as it aims for over 20 percent of its sales from foreign markets by 2015.
AB-InBev sold the business to cut its debts after buying U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch in 2008 for $52 billion, and analysts said it would be reluctant to buy it back as it does not have leading positions in the big eastern European beer markets of Romania and the Czech Republic.
The Belgium-based group makes around 80 percent of its profits from North and South America, controlling half the United States beer market and two-thirds of the Brazilian one, and these two areas with China and Russia are its key focus.
"We would be stunned if ABI were to buy back assets it sold to a private equity firm less than three years ago ... ABI has said its focus is on the U.S., Brazil and China, and we would not expect them to expand at this stage in central Europe," said Liberum Capital analyst Pablo Zuanic
Other European brewers like SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg would face anti-trust problems as all are major players in the region, with a SABMiller-StarBev combination potentially having a 63 percent market share of the Czech Republic beer market, 49 percent in Hungary and 39 percent in Romania.
SABMiller had considered linking up with its new Turkish ally Anadulo Efes to try and overcome anti-trust concerns but progress has been difficult. The London-based brewer swapped its Russian and Ukrainian operations for a 24 percent stake in Turkey's top brewer last year.
Amsterdam-based Heineken would have market shares of 44 percent in Romania, 46 percent in Hungary and 51 percent in Bulgaria in a StarBev linkup, while Denmark's Carlsberg would have 46 percent in Bulgaria, 76 percent in Serbia and 47 percent in Croatia, analysts have calculated.
The level of interest from trade buyers, means little scope for private equity to compete as they lack the level of potential costs savings a big brewer can achieve, analysts said.
CVC bought the business for around $2.2 billion with potential future payment of as much as $800 million based on CVC's return on its investment.
In Europe, the four brewing stocks closed higher, AB-InBev gained 1.6 percent to 51.21 euros, SABMiller was up 1.5 percent at 2,586 pence, Heineken edged forward 0.6 percent to 39.86 euros and Carlsberg advanced 0.7 percent to 442.30 crowns.
7 Mar. 2012