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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.

Thai Beverage Public Company Limited Joins In The Race To Capture Vietnam’s Beer Market

Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SGX: Y92) has an ambitious target of having more than 50% of its revenue coming from outside of Thailand by the year 2020. Currently, the company generates more than 90% of its revenue within Thailand. However, now it seems that the company might be able to move closer to its target as that opportunity is opening up in Vietnam.

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According to a news report, the government of Vietnam is planning to sell its 89.59% stake in the country’s largest brewery, Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco). Sabeco is estimated to own about 40% of the local beer market. The deal could be worth up to US$1.8 billion and Thai Beverage has signed up as a bidder for the auction.

Beer consumption in Vietnam is growing fast, having grown 40% from 2010 to 2015. It is also expected to be the largest beer market in the region, with about 68.7 million people in the country above the drinking age.

Therefore, this means that interest for Sabeco are not lacking. Other interested bidders for the stake includes major breweries such as Asahi Group, Heineken NV, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Kirin Holdings and even Thai Beverage’s main competitor, Boon Rawd Brewery.

Thai Beverage has also indicated that it has strong enough financials to fund future acquisitions. The company has a total debt to equity of 34.4% and an interest coverage ratio of 22.4 times based on its latest result.

Foolish Summary

It is too early to know if Thai Beverage has a chance to win the bid for Sabeco. But given the strong competition in the auction, it seems the race is on to be the beer giant of Southeast Asia. Vietnam is the crown jewel of the industry in this region.

9 Сен. 2016

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