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.
Vietnam to list beer companies in quest for cash
The unprecedented divestments in two state crown jewels, the makers of the much-glugged Saigon and Hanoi beers, are expected to net as much as US$2.2 billion.
The sale comes as part of long-promised reforms to privatise bloated state firms, which official figures show contributed about one third of the country's GDP last year.
It is hoped the reforms will set the communist country back on track to meet its ambitious economic targets and jumpstart growth which has slowed this year.
For Vietnam's government, beer is a logical place to start.
With a population of 93 million people, the country is one of Asia's leading swillers of beer.
Vietnamese consumed more than three billion litres of the cold stuff last year, according to Euromonitor marketing firm.
That thirst has piqued interest from foreign brewers, eager to tap growth markets at a time when sales in many developed markets in Asia are forecast to plateau.
"Vietnam has one of the fastest growing beer consumption markets in the world, and that's obviously an appeal," said Kevin Snowball, CEO of PXP Vietnam Asset Management in Ho Chi Minh City.
VIETNAMESE SAY KEEPING FLAVOUR OF BEER IS KEY
The government said this month the two companies, Habeco and Sabeco, would be listed in the first three months of 2017 and would be open to local or foreign bidders.
For the Vietnamese who crowd into the open-air bia hoi markets during lunch, dinner and for some, in between, privatisation promises to keep the good times rolling -- as long as the buyouts don't mess with flavour.
"I don't want beer Hanoi to be affected by the taste of Carlsberg, I don't want beer Saigon to become so similar to a Sapporo... the key is to keep the distinctive taste of the beer," said Duc Thang, 48, speaking over a glass of cold brew.
Like millions of others across the country, Thang comes to the bia hoi to unwind.
"At a bia hoi you can talk about so many things -- you can chit-chat, talk business, family problems. It's easier to talk when you have one or two beers."
Some major names already have a foothold here -- Heineken has about 17 per cent of the market, competing with other players like Carlsberg and Sapporo -- and reports say Thailand's ThaiBev and Singha Beer may now be ready enter the fray too.
But the sales could instantly transform a foreign buyer into a top brewer: Sabeco enjoys about 45 per cent market share, while Habeco has 17 per cent, according to Euromonitor.
The government says it will sell its 90 per cent stake of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) for US$1.8 billion, and its 82 percent stake in the Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corp (Habeco) for US$400 million.
Both companies declined to speak to AFP.
'THE RIGHT TIME'
Economists say the government is selling the stakes because it is thirsty for cash.
Public debt hit 62 per cent of GDP this year according to official figures, and is climbing closer to the government-sanctioned debt ceiling of 65 per cent of GDP.
"It's the right time for the government to consider selling a number of state-owned companies to get more for the budget," economist Pham Chi Lan told AFP.
Selling off controlling stakes is also expected to help clean up corporate governance and boost productivity, which have not happened with piecemeal selloffs in the past.
"Many of these benefits will only come if there's a strategic investor that really takes on a majority stake," said Sebastian Eckardt, lead economist for the World Bank in Vietnam.
Some credit a new regime of communist leaders in power since April with making good on promises to privatise, but will wait to raise a glass until the deals are done.
"We're very positive on this, as long as it happens, because it's been talked about for a very long time," said Snowball.
24 Oct. 2016