Dmitry Nekrasov’s Philosophy — on the Past, Present and Future of Ukrainian Brewing IndustryA meeting with Dmitry Nekrasov always turns into a training course: “Introduction to brewing business“. We are talking to a clever “playing trainer“ a person that can be called a godfather of the Ukrainian craft. He has a dozen of successful projects to his name. Dmitry told us about craft beer in Ukraine, on market cycles, on specifity of operating in retail and HoReCa, on union of Ukrainian brewers and certainly, how a brewery of his own, First Dnipro Brewery is doing.
The market of import beer in Russia: review and databasesThe market of import beer is rapidly growing and changing. But while in the past years it was growing due to brands variety, in 2019 major and affordable brands from TOP-10 were developing actively. It seems that the fact of a brand origin from far abroad counties, even if it is not well known but has moderate price and good distribution provides for million liters of sales in the territory of Russia. Among distributors AB InBev Efes was far behind, yet the role of Baltika and suppliers of the second row got more important. The boom of German brands was followed by stagnation of import from other traditional regions (and Belarus) instead the supplies from Mexico, Lithuania and Asian countries grew considerably.
Russia: Positions of Brewing CompaniesThe review contains an analysis of interim performance of brewers in the first half of 2019. There are rather dynamic changes behind a modest industry growth. Baltika is again experiencing a stage of volumes and market share slid due to competition with AB InBev Efes. Because of the price competition and presence expansion in the modern trade company #2. has come close to the leading position. At the same time sales of Heineken Russia have continued growing which makes the premium part of the portfolio heavier. The market premiumization trend had been also confirmed by import brands. MBC and Zavod Trekhsosenskiy have been the most successful among federal market players. The market share of independent regional brewers and Ochakovo have continued falling as they are being squeezed out by the market leaders at their competitive fields.
Ukrainian beer market 2019: companies and brandsIn 2019 beer production and market have been still fluctuating about zero point. However, the past season was successful for brewers judging by the sales profitability. The price mix has improved due to rapid general market premiumization, as well as its particular aspect, the growth of import beer sales. By the season end AB InBev Efes improved its positions considerably. It turned out that consumers had not forgot Efes brands that had to leave the market, but started to recover rapidly. Against the stagnating market that meant sales decline of other companies, in the first place Carlsberg Group that most of all beneficiated from Efes exiting the market. PPB turned out to be stable to branding activity of its competitor and Obolon kept the same volumes and at the moment it is the absolute leader of the economy segment. The share growth of independent producers took place thanks to leading craft breweries, that so far do not have a big market weight, but they are rapidly gaining it.
Brewing industry in Kazakhstan 2019During the first half of 2019, the majority of Kazakh brewers made their contribution into positive dynamics. Yet it was companies of the lower division, not the two transnational leaders that raised their production and sales. The shares of draft beer and aluminum can which is rapidly squeezing glass bottle out of the market, have been growing. The price segmentation has remained stable despite the substantial rise of retail prices and fluctuations of brand market shares, while the borders between segments have become blurred. The main events in the industry have been: the announced revision of the beer excise policy, launch of BeerKhan brand in the strong beer segment, and most important – purchasing assets of Shymkentbeer by Arasan.
The trend of complication of Russian beer market is going on and in several directions at the same time. The range has got wider, the import and small segments are growing, namely craft beer, alcohol-free beer and special flavor beer. At the same time, all ex-mega brands and light lagers by Russian brewers are experiencing a decline of their shares. AB InBev Efes, Heineken, MBC and Pivzavod Trekhsosenskiy have exceeded the market, Carlsberg was developing slower than the market and Ochakovo as well as some other mid-sized breweries have been cutting down their volumes. To a big extent brewers’ performance was connected to their ability to reach agreement with networks, sacrifice their margin and enter new markets. Craft brewers are facing a serious danger of producers’ registration introduction – de facto licensing. ...
In 1997 company Obchodni sladovny the leading Czech malt producer became the main shareholder of the enterprise which at that time had the name "Altyn-Bidai". The new owner aimed to organize import of qualitative brewing barley and started selection of its sorts taking into account the local conditions. Despite all the efforts to enter into cooperation with local agricultural producers, Tekeli malthouse always experienced difficulties with malting barley. The weather conditions of Kazakhstan (sharply continental climate), makes it impossible to get stable qualitative characteristics of barley. Thus, the company occupied the niche of the supplier of inexpensive production with medium quality which was bought for local beer sorts production.
At the beginning of 2000s the shares of the parent company was acquired by group Soufflet. As a result of the reorganization Kazakh malthouse accordantly came under control of even bigger international company Soufflet and started working more actively on cooperation with growers and on malting barley quality control. However, although the plant capacity could fully satisfy need for raw materials of the national producers, the malt for expensive beer sorts is still imported from abroad and in comparatively big volumes.
Lack of barley of acceptable quality is still an acute issue for Tekeli malthouse according to the local administration. Because of problems with acceptable raw materials, during last two years the enterprise has to stand idle in summer, waiting for the grain of new harvest.
In 2010, when the world and the local markets were affected by malt overproduction in 2008-2009, Soufflet demonstrated fast production growth which was supported by positive dynamics of the local brewers. But in 2010 there was a dramatic change on the barley market and in 2011 the volumes of the plant malt production started falling. Despite the …% production cut, the company revenue growth in 2011 was proportional and totaled …%. The company apparently increased selling prices considerably. However the outrunning growth of the raw materials cost price connected to higher prices for brewer's malt led to a serious decline of the company's total profit. In 2012 the company saw even bigger production decline, that is by …%.
At the beginning the malt production cut coincided with the negative tendency of the brewing industry in Kazakhstan. However, when in 2012 the local beer producers demanded more malt, the plant, as we see, continued to reduce the production.
The key Soufflet outlet, apart from the national one, was and still is Uzbekistan. Essentially, it is this country's demand for malt that defines the company's export dynamics. About ten big enterprises importing malt operate in the domestic market. But in 2011 the most prominent local producer, Uzbek subdivision of Carlsberg started experiencing pressing from the government, which first led to delivery interruptions and then even to enterprise operation halt. The malt import to Uzbekistan, accordingly, shrank. Next 2012 turned out to be unsuccessful for all beer producers. Their production is ranked as strong alcohol and their distribution as category was sharply restricted which negatively affected the sales against the background of the selling price growth.
The structure of the malt import to Kazakhstan has changed considerably for the last five years. Prior to the crisis against the background of malt price growth and of the intensive breweries proliferation, producers opted for expensive … malt. And …, though being an important supplier, practically stopped deliveries to Kazakhstan in 2008, when Kazakhstan earlier than many other countries faced recession. Then the significance of … grew again and the suppliers from far-abroad countries eventually disappeared from the market, and … being Customs union partner of Kazakhstan became the leading supplier by the volume of deliveries.
Prospects for 2013 inspire some optimism, as Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian agricultural producers gathered a rich crop of qualitative malting barley. They will be able to give a full load to malthouse Soufflet, if only foreign malt producers have not concluded contracts for year with Kazakh brewers yet.
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