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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.

AB InBev opens new factory in Sichuan

Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world's largest brewer, opened its Ziyang Greenfield factory in Sichuan Province Thursday, its first plant in China's southwest.

With an investment of 650 million yuan ($100.10 million), the factory will produce Budweiser and Harbin Beer for the market in the southwestern region, which includes Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, as well as Chongqing Municipality and the Tibet Autonomous Region.

"China is the engine of the global beer market, and its performance is outstanding,” said Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, adding that the first bottle of beer from the new plant is expected to hit the market by the end of June.

"It will trigger fierce competition in the southwestern region,” Yang Qingchun, director of public relations with Societ Insights & Decision, a Shenzhen-based marketing consulting firm, told the Global Times Thursday.

According to Yang, the southwestern region already has several producers, such as China Resources Breweries and Beijing Yanjing Brewery, with China Resources Breweries holding more than 60 percent of the market share in the region.

However, Yang said the market still offers potential as annual beer consumption in the southwestern region is 20 liters per head, compared with an average of 30 liters for the whole country.

"The new plant will impact the sales of rivals such as Snow Beer and Chongqing Beer,” said Zhao Yong, an industry researcher from Haitong Securities, adding that Harbin Beer's strong network will help with sales for AB InBev.

AB InBev was created in 2008 when Belgium's InBev merged with US brewer Anheuser-Busch. It currently has 33 breweries in China across 13 provinces with over 25 beer brands, including Budweiser, Harbin and Sedrin. In March, the company acquired China's Weixue Beer Co, the second largest brewery in Henan Province.

Miguel Patricio, president of AB InBev Asia, said the company is also upgrading its plants in Henan, Liaoning and Fujian provinces, and is looking for opportunities in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

China became the largest brewery market in the world last year. After years of fierce competition and consolidation, there are now fewer producers.

According to figures from Societ Insights & Decision, the four giants – China Resources Breweries, Tsingtao Brewery, AB InBev and Beijing Yanjing Brewery – account for more than 60 percent of market share in China, and 72.5 percent of profits.

27 мая. 2011



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