Top Industry News
Belgian brewing force, Interbrew, announced on December 22 that the European Commission had granted unconditional clearance to its strategic partnership with Spaten
Japan: Kirin Brewery Co. has decided to revamp its strategies for sales in overseas markets, choosing to emphasize promotion of its Ichiban Shibori brew
Poland's lower house of parliament, the Sejm, passed a bill that would slash the excise tax on beer by 30%
Colombia: Bavaria, the largest beer maker in Colombia, intends to take out a US$150 million loan from the Andean Development Corporation
After the resultless WTO-meeting in Cancun a number of countries concentrate on concluding bilateral trade agreements
For 2003-04, barley production in Canada increased by 65% from 2002-03
UK 2003/04 barley production was lowered 136,000 tonnes to 6.475M tonnes
More news is available on site www.e-malt.com
Canada, Alberta: Big Rock Brewery Income Trust (the "Trust") announced on December 22 that it would increase its monthly cash distribution by $0.01, to $0.07 per trust unit
South Korea: Continuing the confusing press reports coming out of South East Asia concerning the potential sale of South Korea’s Jinro ltd, the Lotte Group today denied that it had formed
UK: Scottish & Newcastle announced on December 22 that it is extending the closing date on its cash tender offer to purchase all of its outstanding bonds
Germany: In spite of being in debt, Holsten is planning to take over a non-alcoholic drinks company, according to reports. The German brewery group intends to up its holding in Heeman
Canada: Molson Inc. became on December 22 the latest brewer to unveil a low-carbohydrate beer, another sign that food and beverage companies are latching onto the fast-growing product area
UK: Budweiser has agreed an exclusive sponsorship deal with the London-based personal chauffeur service, scooterMAN
Russia: The net profit of Russian brewery, OAO Yarpivo, in 2003 will presumably increase for 13 % in comparison with 2002 and will make US$47,4 million
Czech Brewers are expected to produce 18.5 million hectolitres of beer in 2003 that is an increase of 2% versus 2002, the Czech Association of Beer and Malt Producers estimated
Australia: Foster's Group, the beer and wine maker, said it planned to buy back up to 123 million more shares on market over the next several months
UK: Scottish & Newcastle announced on December 19 that it had made two senior appointments to its Executive Management Group. Dr Rob Sidoli (50) has been appointed Group Operations Director
2. Brewery News
Belgian brewing force, Interbrew, announced on December 22 that the European Commission had granted unconditional clearance to its strategic partnership with Spaten. This approval is the first condition to be fulfilled and brings Interbrew one step nearer to closing of the transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2004.
The European Commission cleared Interbrew's partnership with Spaten. The Commission found that this partnership did not raise competition concerns and it therefore decided to clear it without conditions. The closing of the transaction remains subject to shareholder approval and is expected to occur in the second half of 2004.
"We look forward to adding the Spaten, Löwenbraü, Franziskaner and Dinkelacker brands to our portfolio" said Michael Beck, President of Interbrew Deutschland. "It will further enhance the diversity and attractiveness of our product offering and give us presence in all key segments of the German beer market."
The closing of this partnership with Spaten will make Interbrew number one in Germany, the world's third largest beer market, with an 11% market share.
In September Interbrew signed a strategic partnership with Spaten to combine its German division with Bavaria's leading brewer, creating the largest brewery group in the country. The deal was initially valued at EUR 477 million. However based on 2004 performance thresholds for Spaten, an additional future payment of up to EUR 56 million may be triggered, leading to an enterprise value of up to EUR 533 million. The new combination will have a annual production of 15.6 million hl and an 11% share of the German beer market.
Japan: Kirin Brewery Co. has decided to revamp its strategies for sales in overseas markets, choosing to emphasize promotion of its Ichiban Shibori brew at the expense of its lager, company officials said Mainichi and Wire Reports on December 22.
Until now, Kirin has launched a two-pronged attack on markets where it has licensing agreements with local brewers, but when fiscal year 2004 begins in April, Japan's biggest brewery will concentrate on getting firmer footholds for Ichiban Shibori.
Kirin is believed to have made the decision to allow it to focus on the single product and make advertising and sales more efficient. "Ichiban Shibori has a more distinctive taste," a Kirin spokesman said, explaining the decision.
Kirin Lager and Ichiban Shibori will continue to be marketed with equal emphasis in Japan.
Kirin has licensing agreements with brewers in many countries, including Australia, Britain and the United States, where its beers are handled by Anheuser-Busch Inc., the makers of Budweiser beer.
Surprisingly, Kirin Lager has generally been the more successful of the beers, accounting for 85 percent of all Kirin's deliveries overseas since 1992, though making up just 20 percent in the United States.
However, in recent years, Ichiban Shibori has been increasing its percentage of Kirin beer sales.
Poland's lower house of parliament, the Sejm, passed a bill that would slash the excise tax on beer by 30%, a move long supported by local brewers and their foreign owners, including SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg. The excise tax is to be lowered from PLN 7 to PLN 4.85 per hectoliter (100 liters) upon Poland's entry into the European Union, Interfax-Europe said on December 17.
Polish brewers say a lowering of the excise tax is necessary to preserve Poland's competitiveness on a common European market. In Poland, one must pay PLN 0.43 in excise for every half-liter bottle, a figure over twice that in Poland's EU and to-be-EU neighbors, according to data released by Poland's brewers' association. Meanwhile, Germans pay PLN 0.18 per half-liter bottle, the Czechs PLN 0.19, the Slovaks PLN 0.20 and the Lithuanians PLN 0.21, according to Browary Polskie.
Beer companies paid over PLN 2 bln in excise tax to the state budget in 2002, but along with the value-added-tax (VAT) this burden exceeded PLN 5 bln in 2002. The excise tax bill now awaits presidential signature.
Polish breweries had nine-month sales volumes at 21.5 mln hectoliters, or 3.6% more than a year earlier. Polish beer sales rose 7.7% to 26 mln hectoliters in 2002 against a year earlier. Poland was rated the world's tenth biggest and Europe's fifth biggest country in terms of beer consumption.
Colombia: Bavaria, the largest beer maker in Colombia, intends to take out a US$150 million loan from the Andean Development Corporation. However the company hasn’t revealed the purpose of investment. The Columbian beer maker posted in a statement that it had made the decision in a meeting on December 18. Bavaria intends to capitalize one of its units in Panama with up to US$807 million, according to the same statement.
Earlier this month the company announced that its only investment plans in the coming year would be to repair and improve it breweries.
3. Malt News
After the resultless WTO-meeting in Cancun a number of countries concentrate on concluding bilateral trade agreements, analysts has posted recently. Australia and Thailand did such an agreement, which will be in force on 1-1-2005 and cut the import tax for Australian barley and malt in Thailand to zero, while other origins will continue to pay 25 % for barley and 28 % for malt.
4. Barley News
For 2003-04, barley production in Canada increased by 65% from 2002-03 but supplies rose by only 41%, due to lower carry-in stocks, according to the Statistics Canada's estimations from December 8, 2003. Exports of malting barley and feed barley are both expected to increase sharply. Feed use of barley is expected to rise significantly from 2002-03, as barley displaces imports of US corn in western Canada. Barley carry-out stocks are forecast to increase but remain historically low. Off-Board feed barley prices are expected to decrease sharply. The CWB November PRO for No.1 CW Feed barley is $159/t, I/S VC/SL, versus the 2002-03 PRO of $164/t. The CWB PRO for Special Select Two Row designated barley is $197/t, versus $242/t in 2002-03, due to higher supplies in North America and Australia.
Here is the figures for Canadian barley:
| Grain and crop year (August
| Harvested area (kha)
| Yield (t/ha)
| Production (kt)
| Imports (kt)
| Total supply (kt)
| Exports (kt)
| Food / Ind. Use (kt)
| Feed, Waste, Dock. (kt)
| Total domestic use (kt)
| Carry-out Stocks (kt)
| Average price $/t
UK 2003/04 barley production was lowered 136,000 tonnes to 6.475M tonnes and usage in animal feed was raised 77,000 tonnes, HGCA reported on December 22. This left export availability 212,000 tonnes lower at 941,000 tonnes. UK barley exports to the EU totaled 97,000 tonnes taking cumulative exports to 471,000 tonnes.