China leads the beer world

The world’s barley growers are going to make a killing the way China’s beer market’s growing. Sometime early this decade it overtook the United States as the world’s biggest consumer and, according to a Reuter’s report in March, ‘is now over 50 per cent larger’.

I’m not sure when the crossover happened, but as recently as 2004 China’s annual consumption of 28,640 million litres beat America’s 23,974 million litres by a mere 20 per cent.

But with a per capita consumption of just 22.1 litres in 2004 – compared to Australia’s 109, the USA’s 81.6 and the Czech Republic’s awesome 156.9 – Chinese growth may have barely started.

The Reuter’s report of 31 March also cited preliminary data from researcher Plato Logic placing China’s Snow beer range as the world’s biggest seller in 2008 at 61.0 million hectolitres, ahead of America’s Bud Light Range (55.6 million) and Budweiser (43.4 million), Brazil’s Skol (35.4 million), Mexico’s Corona (32.7 million) and Holland’s Heineken (29.1 million).

Reuter’s says that Snow is brewed by SABMiller and its Chinese partner China Resources Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009