Global hop marketA 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 RussiaGermany 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.
10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
Beer market of Russia 2016: PET goes to draftThe beer market of Russia was warmed up by the hot summer, but the preparation for large volume PET prohibition has already impacted it negatively. The year was successful for Efes, MBC and regional producers; Carlsberg’s positions were virtually stable but AB InBev and Heineken lost a part of market share having focused on the sales profitability. The dynamics of big brands was determined by how much the companies were willing to keep the prices down or by their promotional activity. In this context the economy segment of the beer market and sales of inexpensive draft beer were increasing. The premium segment started shrinking due to license brands migrating to the mainstream segment.
In 2015, the import volume grew by 60% to 541.7 mln litres. And the revenues of the importers grew by 41% to $575 mln. Judging by the deliveries’ volume, the import market share by volume increased by 0.5 p.p. to 1.1%.
As a rule, the import beer is attributed to the super premium segment (beer for more than 30 yuan for a liter) and form the biggest part of it. The estimated market volume of the import beer by value can be approximately appraised at 18 bln yuan or $2.9 bln.
In the recent years, the growth rates of the deliveries have remained high, though with a downturn trend. For the period from January to June 2016, China imported 310.53 million litres of beer. This year the growth in the first 6 month was 40% versus 63% of last year.
By the end of 2016, the share of import market can increase by 0.5 p.p. to 1.6% by volume. It can reach 3% by 2020 basing on the current trends. Here we should keep in mind that nearly a half of import consists of brands by foreign companies whose managements are not likely to start brewing beer in China. And even transnational companies are hardly ready to switch for full-scale local licensed production in the coming years.
The major trade partner is still Germany which in 2015 expanded its beer deliveries by ...% to ... mln. l. However, as the beer import is growing in general ever faster and becoming more and more multinational, the weight of Germany is decreasing the third year in a row (...% in 2013 and ...% in 2015).
Note, that for Germany itself, China is becoming one of the key export directions. As early as 6 years ago its share in the export structure of German brewers’ deliveries amounted to ...% and today it is already ...%. And this despite rather high for the Chinese price for German beer due to high logistics cost, special request to markings. Its average consumer price amounts to nearly $... a liter and from other EU countries it was $... in 2015.
The German origin of beer of its own outlines its quality and status, so in big cities the range of the proposed German sorts is rather wide, both by taste and price.
The list of main German beer suppliers to China includes companies, that are traditionally focused on export. The biggest among them is certainly Paulaner Brauerei and the positions of Brauerei Kaiserdom are also strong in China thank to a good distribution and comparatively low price. Besides, using the national sales system AB InBev successfully promotes its major German brand, namely Lowenbrau.
Along with Franziskaner, Oettinger, Kostritzer and other well known in Germany and the world brands, we can also find localized brands in special packages or even cheap import trademarks produced specially for China.
Other countries if we consider them together have sharply increased the import to China. A big contribution is made by global brewing companies. For instance, AB InBev Chinese portfolio includes Hoegaarden and Mexican Corona. Sales of inexpensive beer by Russian Baltika and South Korean brewing companies are growing. At the same time, a lot of trading companies from the EU, that resell beer and support the positive competition, are gaining ever more significance.
As we have already written above, several years ago the main sales channel was night clubs and expensive restaurants. However, the segment growth is to a large extent conditioned by retail formats. This in the first place hyper – and supermarkets, plus E-commerce contribution. The sales of import beer in kegs are gaining momentum.
Consumers saw imported beer in the best shelf spaces in many big supermarkets. Profits from selling imported beer are 5 times higher than from Chinese sorts which created a great problem for the local brewers.
At supermarkets one can find dozens of expensive, well-known import brands. The price for a 0.3 l beer can vary from ... to ... yuan and a half-a-litre bottle usually costs ...-... yuan. For example, in Beijing Century Lianhua Supermarket located beyond East Third Ring Road, the price for German beer Kostritzer is ... yuan for 500 ml and Belgian Hoegaarden costs ... yuan for 300 ml. Import beer is as a rule ...%, more expensive than Chinese premium and in some cases twice the price of a 300 ml can. For example, the same volume of Tsingdao costs ... yuan. Besides, one can find barrels of 5 l on the shelves.
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21 Sep. 2016