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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.

AB InBev Accepts Asahi Offer to Buy Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime Beer Brands

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV accepted Asahi Group Holdings Ltd.’s offer to buy the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime beer brands for 2.55 billion euros ($2.9 billion), clearing another hurdle in for the European brewer’s efforts to win regulatory approval for the purchase of SABMiller Plc.

The purchase by Asahi, which covers the premium brands and their related businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and internationally, is conditional on the SABMiller deal going through, AB InBev said in a statement Tuesday. The companies announced on Feb. 10 that Asahi had made a binding offer.

The acquisition would be Asahi’s biggest, giving the brewer a foothold in Europe where it currently has no presence, and reducing its dependence on a domestic market hampered by a shrinking population. Asahi may face new challenges making inroads in the European market.

"The concern is how Asahi will do in Europe, as they have no experience there and beer history is much deeper there than in Asia," said Masashi Mori, a Tokyo-based analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. "They have good experience in cost control in past acquisitions, but whether they can manage it from the European brand perspective, I’m still dubious."

Asahi closed 2 percent higher at 3,556 yen by the close of trading in Tokyo, before AB Inbev’s acceptance of the deal was announced. The shares have fallen 6.4 percent so far this year, compared with the 12 percent drop in the benchmark Topix index.

The sale would smooth the way for the Budweiser owner’s 72 billion-pound takeover of SABMiller by helping to clear antitrust hurdles in Europe.

19 Apr. 2016

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