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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com Italian
06 July, 2018

Hops news World: World hop acreage exceeds 60,000 ha mark for the first time in over 20 years

Almost all hop-growing countries have added acreage in 2018 albeit at a much slower pace than in previous years, the Barth-Haas Group reported on July 6.

Total hop acreage now exceeds the 60,000 ha mark again for the first time in over 20 years.

The US Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho) now surpasses 55,000 acres of hop land - 55,339 to be precise (22,136 ha), which is an increase of 3.9% over 2017. Most of the expansion took place in Idaho, which now has slightly more acres under hops than Oregon.

Acreage in the states outside of the Pacific Northwest is declining (-203 ha) as the hop market becomes more competitive.

Citra® has become the number one variety in the US having added another 1,532 acres (+30%). Cascade on the other hand drops 936 acres (-13%) and into #3 position behind CTZ. A big increase for CTZ (+487ha/1,218 acres) and HBC 682 (+291 ha/728 acres or 73%) is putting the US strongly back into the high alpha rink.

Germany’s acreage is up 3.1% to 20,144 ha this year, Barth-Haas reported. Herkules continues to lead the expansion in Germany adding another 512 ha and Polaris the only other bitter variety gaining ground. The decline in Magnum has slowed down. On the aroma side, the experts see careful expansion in some of the traditional aroma varieties (Perle, Select, Saphir) and a needed correction of acreage in the German flavour varieties (Mandarina Bavaria, Melon).

Overall in the world, hop acreage is reacting to market conditions with high alpha hops coming back into the ground and excess flavour hops being either grubbed or converted into high alpha or aroma/flavour varieties in high demand. Provided the main growing regions produce an average crop the Barth-Haas analysts foresee a fairly balanced supply and demand situation on the hop market for the 2019 brewing year.

Hop demand is expected to increase further despite a stagnant beer market as flavourful and well-hopped beers continue to expand and displace lighter versions. The forward contract ratios on both sides of the Atlantic remain at a very high level: crops 2018-20 are almost fully contracted so that spot opportunities should be few and far between. Most trading has focused on crop years 2021-25 during the first half of the year.


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