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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.

AB InBev gets Bud back in EU court case

Ask for a "Bud" in the European Union and the only one you'll get from now on is the one from brewing giant AB InBev.
That's following a ruling Tuesday by an EU high court rejecting a challenge from the Czech company Budejovicky Budvar.
AB InBev claimed victory in the latest round of the century-long fight between the two companies over the right to put the word Budweiser, one of beer's biggest brand names, on their bottles and kegs. The company, which owns the Anheuser-Busch beer, added that it now has the "right to a Bud trademark registration valid throughout the entire European Union."
On Tuesday, the EU's General Court said that AB Inbev could use "Bud" because of the insignificant use of the term by Budvar in Austria and France.
After the Luxembourg-based high court dismissed Budvar's challenge, the Czech company said it would consider an appeal at the EU's highest court, which can only overturn the ruling on technical points of law. Budvar, founded in 1895, argues that only beer brewed in its part of the Czech Republic can be called Budweiser.
"The verdict is not final and we are considering appealing," said Budvar spokesman Petr Samec.
In Leuven, at AB Inbev headquarters just east of Brussels, the mood was more elated. "We will now have virtually worldwide protection for the Bud or Budweiser brands," the company said in a statement, adding the ruling allowed for a "significant expansion of our trademark rights."
The brewers last agreed on a global settlement in 1939 in a pact that gave Anheuser-Busch sole rights to the name Budweiser in all American territories north of Panama. But trouble brewed as the two companies entered new markets.
Though AB InBev is far larger than Budvar — it produces 270 times more beer — the Czech company is a tough legal challenger. It has won 88 of 124 disputes between 2000 and 2011.

Associated Press

23 Jan. 2013

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