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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.

VBL’s Leo Evers bets on Vietnam’s beer culture and growing economy

Vietnam's guzzling more beer than ever as the economy accelerates and the population gets younger. Vietnam Brewery Limited (VBL) wants to ensure the pint glasses don't stay empty.

Established in 1991 as a joint venture between Dutch beer giant Heineken and local partner Saigon Trading Group, VBL targets the premium beer segment. It is now the second largest brewery in Vietnam with 25 percent market share after state-owned Sabeco.

VBL"Of the total alcohol consumed in Vietnam, 94% is beer, so it is really part of the Vietnamese culture," says Leo Evers, managing director of VBL.

"Walk into any restaurant or bar and you'll notice that everyone is drinking beer," Evers says in a "Managing Asia" interview.

The frenetic growth – Vietnam is aiming to raise beer output by 25 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to a January statement by the Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association – has been underpinned by a combination of factors.

Economic growth has picked up, with Vietnam's economy currently expanding at its fastest pace in seven years. Demographics have also helped: 50 percent of the population are below 30 years old, says Evers.
Other major foreign players such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlsberg Group and SABMiller have also staked their bets on Vietnamese drinkers and set up breweries in the country.

For VBL, the partnership between Heineken and Saigon Trading company has been extremely successful, says Evers, who adds that it has been beneficial to have a Vietnamese partner to provide the "local know-how."

He says the trick to a successful joint venture was finding the right balance of working culture the two companies.

The partnership strategy has paid off handsomely for VBL, which has seen its beer production capacity grow 15 times in the past 25 years of operations, says Evers.

In addition the country's large consumer market, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is also expected to boost Vietnam's beer industry.

Currently, Vietnam's special consumption tax rate has imported beer taxed at 55 percent, and this is set to increase to 60 percent from January 2017, according to a May USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report.

If the trade deal is ratified by all participating nations, the tax on imported beer in Vietnam would be slashed, and costs of raw materials such as hops and malt will be significantly cheaper, Evers says.

However, Evers added that the company is not just banking on lower import duties to drive down costs but carries out "cost programs throughout the year to make the organization as cost-effective as possible."

30 мая. 2016

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