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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.

Russia. “Soon we’ll have nothing to trade”

Starting from 1 January, the wholesalers and the retailers from 1 July are obliged to connect to the electronic system USAIS, created to control the turnover of alcohol in Russia. According to RBC, the new rules have already caused interruption in alcohol supplies.

“Yesterday I sent several trucks to the stores that had already registered [in USAIS],” commented the businessman from Irkutsk, “Retail cannot confirm the fact of delivery, as the system does not confirm it. The operator of technical support of USAIS said that the waiting time for confirmation may take up to three days. The trucks stayed overnight, because the goods had not been accepted and the temperature outside was 30 degrees below zero. In the morning we opened the truck: all beer had burst – 100 boxes in one truck and 150 in another, the same situation was with wine and champagne. Now I am counting up the damage. The stores still have not accepted the goods and refused to store them at their warehouse, because they consider that the goods are illegal if the system does not confirm them.”
Another wholesaler from  Moscow region, who asked not to name his company, said that he solved the problems with the shops by drawing the supplies ex-post 31 December 2015, when the fact shipping had not had to register in the system. “Some stores that are not connected to the system pay to suppliers in cash, i. e. they check the goods past USAIS,” he affirms.
The owner of several grocery stores in Moscow’s suburbs said that USAIS has already worked, but it is very inconvenient. “We make the order to the wholesaler and place this information in the system”, he explains, “The wholesaler for his part enters information about the shipping of goods from the warehouse and the truck with alcohol drives to our address. However, in almost half of the cases when the truck arrives the information entered in the module is not recognized by the system. It is absolutely unclear what to do in this situation: neither the wholesaler nor we want to take risks”.
According to the interlocutor, he has already had storage of alcohol for some items in his retail outlets. “Soon we will have nothing to trade,” he affirms.

15 Jan. 2016

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