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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.

SABMiller Flags Weak China Demand As Volume Growth Slows

Tuesday flagged weak demand in China as the brewing giant recorded slowing global volume growth.

Beer volumes for the third quarter rose 2% before acquisitions and disposals, representing a slowdown from 3% growth a year earlier and 4% in the first half. Soft drinks volumes increased 3%.

But volumes in Asia-Pacific, excluding Australia, fell 1%, hit by "subdued" demand in China, where volumes fell 3% "due mainly to an exceptionally cold and wet winter across the country." This compares with 7% volume growth in Asia Pacific a year earlier.

Still, the Australian business, which had been under scrutiny following the company's $10 billion acquisition of Foster's in 2011, started to improve with sales for the quarter down 4% on a comparative basis, compared with a 8% decline in the previous six months. Flagship brand Victoria Bitter grew 2%, its first quarter of growth for more than 10 years, and SABMiller said the integration program in Australia is ahead of schedule.

Latin America, the brewing group's biggest region, saw beer volume growth recover to 6%, up from 4% in the first-half, but down from 8% in the same period last year.

Volumes in Africa grew 4%, with South Africa volumes up 3%.

European volumes rose only 1% with some beer markets hit by "depressed consumer confidence", the company said.

In North America, MillerCoors LLC--the joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co. (>> Molson Coors Brewing Company)--said domestic sales to retailers were down 1.1%. Domestic sales to wholesalers fell 1.4%. Still, analysts say U.S. beer demand is showing signs of improvement, supported by rising employment.

SABMiller, the world's No. 2 brewer behind Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI.BT ) and whose brands include Peroni Nastro Azzuro, pushed through price increases in some regions which boosted revenue per hectolitre by 5% while revenue rose 8% in the quarter, before acquisitions and disposals on constant currencies.

SABMiller shares closed Monday at 2960.5 pence, valuing the company at 47.26 billion pounds ($74.94 billion).

22 Янв. 2013



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