The coronavirus pandemic has led to a global drop in beer production in 2020 of approximately 6% among the 40 top brewing groups, according to a recent list published by the Barth Haas Group.
That equates to an estimated 94 million hectolitres less beer than in 2019.
The year saw considerable movement within the rankings of the world’s 40 biggest brewing groups according to how severely the brewers’ respective markets were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asian brewing groups were the hardest hit as governments imposed strict restrictions on the sales of beer in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus.
The hardest hit were India’s United Breweries (-34%), The Philippines’ San Miguel Corporation (-24%) and Vietnam’s SABECO and HABECO (both -19%).
The restriction of beer sales in Thailand meant the two large brewing groups that dominate the market did not avoid the drop. ThaiBev, producers of Chang Beer, saw sales drop 16% with Singha Corporation not so badly affected witnessing a drop of only 9%.
This slowdown directly resulted in the delay of the eagerly anticipated ThaiBev’s listing on the Singapore stock exchange.
The Japanese brewing behemoths, however didn’t fare so badly, being down between 1% (Kirin) and 9% (Suntory).
The year saw considerable movement within the rankings according to how severely the brewers’ respective markets were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Carlsberg Group, for example, edged past China’s CRB to take 3rd place, while the French BGI/Groupe Castel advanced into 8th place, knocking China’s Yanjing into 10th place.
Germany’s Veltins group was a new entrant, ousting China’s Gold Star from the table.
Elsewhere, Carlsberg was active on the takeover front, acquiring both Wernesgrüner (DEU) from the Bitburger Group (on January 1st, 2021) and Marston’s (GBR).
ABI bowed out of Australia and sold Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), which it had acquired through the SABMiller takeover, to Asahi (JPN). ABI also acquired a majority shareholding in the American Craft Beer Alliance (CBA).
India once again proved to be a difficult market for foreign-owned companies: both MolsonCoors and Mahou- San Miguel sold their Indian subsidiaries to local investors.