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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. Asahi, Kirin may fight over Vietnam brewer Sabeco

Japan's Asahi Group Holdings and Kirin Holdings are considering bidding for shares of Vietnamese state-owned brewer Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage, in an auction that could come as soon as next month.

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The Vietnamese government holds an 89.6% interest in Sabeco, as well as 82% of Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage, or Habeco. Together, the two breweries control roughly 60% of the country's beer market.

As a part of its state-enterprise reform efforts, the government aims to unload its entire holdings in the two by the end of 2017. A 53.6% interest in Sabeco, to be divested by the end of the year, will be sold off first.

Vietnam, a nation of 90 million people with growing beer consumption, is one of the few promising beer markets in the world today. For this reason, many major foreign breweries are showing interest in the planned sale of the Sabeco stake, which is predicted to raise around 200 billion yen ($1.93 billion).

Facing a shrinking domestic market, Asahi and Kirin have stepped up expansion of overseas operations. Kirin's foreign business strategy focuses on Asia. In line with this, the company acquired Myanmar Brewery, the Southeast Asian country's No. 1 beer maker, last year.

Asahi is seeking a broader market presence. It is considering purchasing a beer business covering five East European countries from the U.K.'s SABMiller, which itself was bought by world leader Anheuser-Busch InBev this month. The price tag for the East European operations, currently estimated at about 500 billion yen, could go higher if a bidding war erupts.

20 Oct. 2016

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