Czech Republic: Beer output in 2010 the lowest since 1989

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The output of Czech breweries sank by 8 percent to 17.1 million hectolitres, the lowest amount since 1989, according to preliminary estimates, the daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes Monday referring to Jan Vesely, chairman of the Czech Beer and Malt Association (CSPS).
The figure is nevertheless more favourable than the original expectation of a 12-percent fall. Though CSPS does not have precise data for 2010 at its disposal yet, the 8-percent fall is probable, Vesely said.
In 2009, total output of Czech breweries decreased by 6.5 percent to 18.6 million hectolitres.
Domestic sales in 2009 dropped by nearly 6 percent and total exports by more than 10 percent, HN notes.
Last year, this ratio turned vice versa and the decrease in exports was smaller than the drop of domestic sales. This fact probably moderated the dramatic fall of the entire market, HN writes.
The domestic sales are pulled down mainly by falling consumption in restaurants and pubs, HN writes.
The largest breweries have not released last year’s sales so far but their lower output pulls down the entire market. Plzensky Prazdroj, Pivovary Staropramen, Heineken and Budvar control three quarters of the domestic beer production together.
A number of minor breweries have reported a growth but they do not have a major influence on the market, HN writes.