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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.

Cambodia. Strike slows flow of Angkor beer

Cambrew's brewery in Sihanoukville is still producing beer, but an ongoing strike could put its flagship Angkor brand in short supply after the labour dispute forced a suspension of the factory’s warehouse and distribution activities this week.

 

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Chheng Sopheak, the company’s human resources manager, said yesterday that distribution of beer products was unlikely to resume until the labour dispute is resolved. He said of Cambrew’s 1,100 employees – not all of whom were on strike – about 100 work in the warehouse and on packaging and distribution lines.

“When there are suspended operations in that section, it affects the distribution because we lack enough workers to handle it,” he said. “We want to solve the problem as soon as possible to return our operations to normal.”

Cambrew, which is half-owned by the Danish conglomerate Carlsberg, claims its holds a 66 per cent share of the local beer market. Its factory also produces Carlsberg, Bayon, Klang and Black Panther beer products.

Worker protests began last month after the company fired Cambodian warehouse manager Lim Roath. Employees demanded his reinstatement, and that the factory’s Malaysian-Chinese manager be relieved from his position, citing unfair treatment.

Sopheak said the company filed the dispute with the Arbitration Council, which is reviewing the case, and hopes the issue will be resolved soon. However, he declined to reveal how much beer the company has in stock and, if the strike persists, how long before its warehouse runs dry.

Beer distributors in Phnom Penh insisted the strike had not yet affected their supply and that Cambrew products were still flowing to their customers.

“The supply we need is always on time,” said Ly Chong Meng, owner of a beer depot in Takhmao City in Kandal.

Ou Tepphallin, vice-president of Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, said that the demands of Cambrew’s striking workers were reasonable, but fell short of fully endorsing the protests as the case heads to arbitration.

“We don’t [want to weigh into this] argument because we know it would negatively affect both employee and employer,” she said, adding that the protesters were willing to return to work once a final decision was made.

“We just want to get justice and suggest the employer treats the workers fairly,” she added.

25 Авг. 2016

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