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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.


China. AB InBev financial results of 2015 and expectations for 2016

According to Anheuser-Busch InBev Full Year 2015 Results report, company’s revenue grew by 6.3% in FY15, with revenue per hl growth of 7%.

The total industry volumes in China were estimated to have declined by approximately 6% in FY15, mainly driven by continuing economic headwinds, with most of the impact being felt in the value and core segments.

Company’s own beer volumes grew by 0.4% in FY15 and were marginally down in 4Q15.


Key performance indicators


AB InBev management comments the figures: “We estimate that on an organic basis, we gained approximately 100 bps of market share in FY15, reaching 18.6%, driven by our commercial strategy of growing our premium and super premium brands nationally, and increasing distribution in the growth channels”.

The combined volumes of Core+, Premium and Super Premium Brands grew by double digits in the year, and now represent more than 50% of the total China volume.

AB InBev revenue in China increased by 9.8% in FY15, and by 13.9% in the quarter. Revenue per hl grew by 9.4% in FY15, with the majority of the increase coming from improved brand mix driven by the growth of Budweiser and the super-premium portfolio.

China EBITDA grew by 33.7% in FY15, driven by strong top-line growth, operational efficiencies, as well as a one-time gain reported in 4Q15.

The industry volumes are expected to remain under pressure in FY16. Company’s volumes are expected to perform better than the industry, driven by premium and super premium brands.

AB InBev is also developing the near beer segment. It is just one way in which company is responding to consumer demand for more choice and excitement. In particular, they are competing more effectively for share of total alcohol by launching innovative products that offer malt beverage alternatives to wine and hard liquor. This near beer category is considered to be a major global opportunity. For example, variants of MixxTail product are now sold in Argentina, the US and China. The success of Skol Beats Senses in Brazil led the company to introduce Cass Beats in South Korea. The popularity of brands such as Cubanisto in the UK, France and Belgium also shows the potential of the flavored beer category.

26 Feb. 2016



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