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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.


Thai Beverage bids for a stake in Vietnam’s largest brewers

Estimated total deal value is $2.9B.

With Vietnam’s government proposing to sell off Saigon Beer, Alcohol, Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) and Hanoi Alcohol Beer & Beverages Corp (Habeco) for an estimated total of US$2.2b (S$2.9b), various media outlets have revealed that Thai Beverage (Thai Bev) is one of several bidders.

According to data from Euromonitor International, Sabeco has been the leader for beer in Vietnam with a 46% market share in volume terms in 2015, underpinned by brands that include Saigon Export and 333.

Commenting on the issue, OCBC Investment Research cited two reasons why the acquisition is positive for ThaiBev, if successful. Nevertheless, it prefered to wait on the development and keep their assumptions unchanged for now.

Firstly, OCBC noted that Sabeco is set to be divested in two tranches.

Sabeco had recently filed documents to seek approval from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to join the Vietnam Stock Index (VN-Index) as the government would want the market to determine the price and valuation of Sabeco. Following its listing, the divestment of Sabeco will be done in two tranches, whereby the government will auction 53.59% in the company this year and the remaining 36% in 2017. Articles also suggest the government is looking for the highest bidder.

Secondly, OCBC said that Vietnam’s beer volume is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% over 2015-2020F based on Euromonitor forecasts.

Against this backdrop, the research firm said that there are a few notable foreign brewers that have presence in Vietnam. For instance, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has a brewery in Vietnam, while Carlsberg has a 17% stake in Habeco, which holds a smaller market share of ~18% with its Bia Ha Noi brand.

Thai Bev’s peer Boon Rawd Brewery (maker of Singha beer) had also agreed to invest in Masan so as to tap on its distribution network in Vietnam.

29 Sep. 2016



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