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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.

Vietnam. ThaiBev downplays Saigon Beer rumours

Thai Beverage Plc (ThaiBev), the country's biggest drinks company, says it is ready to pursue mergers and acquisitions on the back of its financial strength.

"Our financial status is quite strong," said executive vice-president Sithichai Chaikriangkrai. "If we get an interesting deal, we can move forward to finalise it in a short period of time with many financial tools."

ThaiBev has been mentioned by Euromonitor as one of three companies showing an interest in buying a major stake in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation.

The Vietnamese government wants to divest of its 89.59% stake in Saigon Beer for UScopy.8 billion in auctions this year and next, along with its 82% stake in Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation for $404 million, according to a state-run news website.

Mr Sithichai refused to confirm whether ThaiBev is interested in Saigon Beer.

"ThaiBev's management will consider acquisition opportunities to diversify its revenue sources and capitalise on growth opportunities in the Asean region," he said. "It wants to be a top-five beverage company in Asia by 2020."

Fitch Ratings assigned ThaiBev an initial long-term issuer default rating of BBB and a national long-term rating of AA+ with a stable outlook.

The company's ratings were given based on ThaiBev's strength as the leading drinks company in Thailand with a solid distribution network.

ThaiBev has a variety of home-grown and imported products. Its financial strength and credit rating incorporate a prudent approach to leverage and a commitment to an investment-grade profile.

Some 95% of revenue comes from local sales and 5% from overseas; 87% comes from alcoholic products and 13% from non-alcoholic.

ThaiBev directly holds a 28% stake in Fraser and Neave of Singapore.

Under the 2020 Vision plan, ThaiBev's sales will reach 300 billion baht and the contributions from alcoholic and non-alcoholic products will be 50:50.

5 Sep. 2016

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