Pivnoe Delo


Top articles



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.

Chinese beer: under pressure as economy slows amid competition

Some believe there is nothing finer than swigging barely-chilled Yanjing beer straight from the bottle, sat on a stool on a Beijing side street, eating skewers of barbecued mutton of questionable origin.

Not all Chinese consumers agree. Sales of Yanjing, along with those of other domestic brewers, are under pressure as the economy slows and foreign brands make inroads.

Beer sales in China dropped 8 per cent by volume in the first half of 2015 from a year earlier, a fall that was blamed on the state of the economy but also unseasonable weather.

Sales are likely to return to moderate growth, but the industry trends of more consolidation and more attempts to shift upmarket to protect margins are likely to continue, according to FT Confidential Research, a research service from the Financial Times.

Yanjing faces a greater challenge than market leader Tsingtao. According to a recent FT Confidential Research survey of 1,000 beer drinkers across the country, Yanjing was the fifth most popular brand, cited by 15.9 per cent of respondents as one of the two beer brands that they most often purchase. It was well behind Tsingtao, which was cited by 57 per cent of respondents.

Yanjing isn’t helped by its limited geographic reach: it’s a Beijing stalwart, deriving 25 per cent of its sales from the capital, though the company is trying to expand its presence by targeting rural areas.

But Yanjing is also a popular beer with low income groups in a market of changing and increasingly sophisticated tastes. It lags behind rivals offering more mid-priced to premium beer to offset falling margins. Tsingtao’s peach beer comes in a shocking pink can aimed at a female audience, while Yanjing’s Party beer promises to “put you in a happy state of mind”.

The demand for better beer is certainly there: the FTCR survey found that 58 per cent of respondents usually pay more than Rmb6 ($0.95) for a 330ml bottle of suds, a level considered mid-range and above by brewers.


But even market leaders Tsingtao and CR Snow, whose mid-priced and premium beer sales account for 40 per cent and 45 per cent of total sales, face a challenge from the rapid growth of imported brands. Domestic beer volume sales may have fallen in the first half but those of imported beer rose 63 per cent, continuing the rapid growth of recent years as import costs tumble and China’s army of nightclubbers multiplies.

Imports account for just 1 per cent of total overall consumption but they are likely to continue growing at a rapid clip. Domestic beer sales growth may return to the low single digits should the forces blamed for this year’s falls prove temporary, but domestic brands will come under increasing pressure from these imports.

Industry woes are also likely to keep driving consolidation. Tsingtao is buying Suntory’s share in an eastern China joint venture to try to turn around sales there after they fell 15.2 per cent in the first half.

AB InBev’s purchase of SABMiller may prove the exception: SABMiller owns a 49 per cent stake in CR Snow and the tie-up would result in combined market share of around 40 per cent. That’s likely to be a six-pack too many for Beijing’s antitrust regulators.

14 Дек. 2015



Main topics

Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Search in posts
Search in pages
Search in groups
Search in users
Search in forums
Filter by Custom Post Type
Filter by Categories