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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.

China. San Miguel registers HK$16.9-m loss in Hong Kong operation

San Miguel Brewery Hong Kong, a unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp., registered a consolidated net loss of HK$16.9 million in 2015, a turnaround from a profit of HK$37 million in 2014, on lower volume due to the non-renewal of distribution agreements with Anheuser-Busch.

SMBHK said in a statement posted on its Web site the group’s consolidated revenues stood at HK$569.5 million, down 22 percent year-on-year.

“Overall sales volume of the company in the [Hong Kong] territory declined by 17 percent, mainly because of the slow demand in the on-premise sales channel partly due to lower tourist arrivals and the non-renewal of distribution agreements with Anheuser-Busch In Bev China Sales Company Limited and Anheuser-Busch InBev International GmbH & Co KG in 2014, as disclosed in a profit warning announcement last 25 January 2016,” SMBHK said.

Also contributing to the net loss were operating costs associated with the sales and marketing operations of the affected products, which were redirected and reinvested in the development of new, premium, specialty and craft brands.

The company said it signed up and develop a new stable of premium, specialty and craft brands in line with the company’s key business strategy of sustaining a broad and diversified portfolio of brands.

SMBHK earlier signed an agreement with Mahou S.A. as the exclusive distributor of Mahou Cinco Estrellas. It also started selling Angry Orchard Cider, Mac’s Great White, Samuel Adams Rebel IPA, Spitfire Kentish Ale, Whitstable Bay Blonde and Whitstable Pale Ale.

Kirin beer brands, which the company distributes exclusively within the territory, also continued to perform strongly, registering a 32-percent volume improvement over the previous year’s level.

SMBHK’s South China operations, meanwhile, posted double-digit improvement in consolidated sales volume over the previous year, with sales revenues up slightly.

Despite these improvements, South China operations registered operating losses compared with the previous year due to one-off gains in 2014.

SMBHK said it expects Hong Kong and South China operations in 2016 to significantly turn around by investing in the San Miguel brand and actively participating in the premium, specialty and craft beer segment to regain volume loss and market share.

“We will expand the wholesaler channel and make it a key component of the company’s going-to-market strategy in order to achieve broader distribution, higher volume and to generate distribution cost savings,” SMBHK said.

The company said it would strengthen the brand equity of San Miguel and Dragon brands and seek new areas of growth in the exports business.

8 Feb. 2016

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