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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.

Malaysia. Potential 10% hike in alcohol duty by Feb 1

The government is considering increasing the duties on alcoholic beverages before the Chinese New Year.

According to a report in Sin Chew Daily yesterday, a 10% hike is expected in the duties for liquor and other alcoholic drinks.

The report said the new rates are expected to take effect on Feb 1, which means the "yam seng" (toast) is going to be more expensive for the upcoming Spring festival.

At RM7.40 a litre, the beer excise duty in Malaysia is third highest in the world, after Norway and Singapore.

A source said a hike in duties on alcoholic beverages, which was not done in the last 10 years, is inevitable but said the government has not finalised the date of implementation due to a conflict of opinions on the timing.

It is learnt that officials in favour of a hike before the Chinese New Year believe it would boost the government coffers due to the big demand during the festival but detractors said increasing duties before the festival would dampen sales and encourage smuggling activities.

The sources said the hike would cover all alcoholic drinks except herbal wines.

Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad, when contacted by the Chinese daily, said he was not aware of the matter and could not confirm or deny talk of the impending hike.

Analysts said a 10% increase in duties on alcoholic drinks will boost the government coffers by RM150 million a year.

However, brewers opined that sky-high duties on beers would impact negatively on the tourism industry in the long run, especially when competitors for tourist dollars such as Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and India have much cheaper beers.

"The notion that raising the duties on beer can boost the government coffers is a misconception. The examples of many countries show that increasing the duties only encourages smuggling activities, as well as prompting many drinkers to switch to cheaper beverages with higher alcohol content."

28 Jan. 2016

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