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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.

India. Expert did not recomend to have a low tax regime on beer in Kerala

Prof Sally Casswell, who chairs the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA), directs your attention to two issues Kerala needs to be cautious about: one, the consequences of opening more beer and wine parlours, and two, rising alcohol consumption among women.

‘’You should really be careful about beer. It isn’t a good idea to have a low tax regime on it,’’ said Casswell, who is in the city attending I-Con 2016, an international conference organised by Excise Department’s Subodham Project on alcohol and substance abuse policy. ‘’It is important to ensure that policy steps do not end up replacing one problem with another,’’ she said. GAPA is a network of NGOs and public health agencies on alcohol-related issues.

Casswell’s observation is of special significance to Kerala at a time when the UDF government has allowed shut-down bars to mutate into beer and wine parlours. ‘’Alcohol-related harm is not tied to any particular beverage. People can still take large quantities of beer, large quantities of wine and still run into problem,’’ she said.

Casswell, who is from New Zealand, points to the Chinese experience. In 1965, beer accounted for a mere two per cent of total alcohol consumption in China. By 2005, it had risen to 36 per cent.

The increase in the number of women drinkers also is a worrying trend, she said. ‘’When women get financially and socially independent, it seems to be an inevitability. We need to be cautious about this issue,’’ she said. The drinks industry, she said, today focuses on women as a fast growing segment of consumers. Making alcohol expensive and banning alcohol advertisement and promotion are cost-effective ways for governments to check abuse, she said. Equally importantly, international attention should focus on how the drinks industry uses social media platforms for alcohol promotion, Casswell said.

‘’Social media is full of alcohol promotion. It is a very interactive platform which the drinks industry uses with great alacrity. It is an issue of great concern,’’ she said.

19 Feb. 2016



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