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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.

Market marches up amid M&A murmurings

SABMiller was in the spotlight as analysts at Credit Suisse suggested that the brewer of Peroni and Grolsch could be targeted by brewing giant, AB Inbev. This Belgian behemoth - which brews Budweiser and Stella Artois - was formed over two years ago when Inbev bought Anheuser-Busch. Credit Suisse scribblers reckon another mega-merger could be in the offing. The reason being, they argue, is that a "moribund" American beer market could compel the two companies to join forces.
"We believe the continuing ills of the US domestic beer market - faltering brands, shrinking per capita consumption, competition from wine and spirits - may force AB Inbev's hand to make another acquisition after the cost cutting is complete and the company's balance sheet has deleveraged post the [Anheuser-Busch] transaction," analysts wrote.
"In this scenario, we think SABMiller would be the most natural merger partner as SAB would provide strong management talent and a robust emerging markets footprint."
As Credit Suisse point out, there have been suggestions before that Inbev and SAB could merge. Before the 2008 deal, there were reports that Inbev could make a play for SAB if its Anheuser-Busch bid was not successful.
3 Фев. 2011

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