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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 to raise drinking age to 21

Muslim-majority Malaysia said Wednesday (Jun 1) it would raise its minimum age for alcohol consumption to 21 next year from the current 18 to stem underage drinking and alcohol abuse.

Drinking age MalaysiaThe new threshold goes into effect on December 1, 2017 along with a new requirement that manufacturers add warnings on the health dangers of alcohol consumption to their product labels, Health Minister S. Subramaniam said in a statement.

Businesses serving alcoholic beverages must display similar notices.

Subramaniam said the step was in line with the "Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol", an effort spearheaded by the World Health Organization.

The New Straits Times newspaper quoted him as saying certain types of cheaply produced liquor were "creating a social problem among the lower-income group".

More than 60 percent of Malaysians are Muslim, and Islam - which bans alcohol consumption - is the official religion.

Malaysia has some of Asia's highest excise taxes on alcohol, according to the Confederation of Malaysian Brewers.

But it also has large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, a bustling bar and restaurant scene and widely available alcoholic beverages.

Various public-health studies have suggested that drinking rates have been rising.

The brewer's confederation says Malaysia has an estimated drinking population of 3.5 million people, out of a population of around 30 million.

Malaysia generally practises a moderate brand of Islam. But religious tensions have simmered in recent years, with Muslim moderates and followers of other religions expressing concern at a steady rise of increasingly conservative Islamic attitudes.

3 Jun. 2016

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