The hop news from Europe this month is not as bright as the news from the United States (see the USDA hop report yesterday), according to the BarthHaas Hop report for June 2021, which provided updates on changes in cultivated area, storm and hail reports from the Czech Republic and Poland as well as an up-to-date market assessment. Overall, however, the global hop supply looks strong. Here are the highlights.
Growing conditions in Europe have been far from ideal this year. A cold spring period in April and May has been followed by very warm temperatures since mid-June with initially low precipitation, then heavy (but unevenly distributed) rains.
“The cold climate at the start of the growing season caused plants to stunt plant growth by about two weeks compared to the long-term average,” the report notes. “Rising temperatures reduced the delay to about a week at the end of June. The risk of flowering before plants reach the upper thread and their full growth potential is real, however.
The area in Europe is mainly decreasing. Area in Europe decreased by 93 ha (232 acres) or -0.3%. Germany reduced by 86 ha (215 acres) and the United Kingdom by 100 ha (250 acres). In contrast, Slovenia (+55 ha / 137 acres) and the Czech Republic (+22 ha / 55 acres) increased their area.
But as noted, the area in the United States increased, so did the southern hemisphere (New Zealand up 2.6%, Australia up 3.6%). In total, the global hop area increased by 772 ha / 1,930 acres or 1.2%. (HA) 2021 2020 CH.
Storm damage in Poland and the Czech Republic. On June 24, a hailstorm swept through parts of the Saaz growing region and approximately 500 ha (1,250 acres) were damaged to varying degrees, in some cases severely (20-100%). Two days later, the Polish growing region around Wilków was hit by a hailstorm, which also severely damaged some hop fields.
“At this fairly early stage in the plant’s development, it is not possible to accurately predict how this damage will affect final yields and crop quality,” the report notes.
The offer remains stable. Provided the 2021 harvest yields normally, the comfortable supply situation is expected to continue into the new season, in part due to a drop in beer production caused by COVID. BartHaas predicts beer production will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, but expects demand for hops to normalize sooner as the return to local consumption, particularly in North America. Nord, will stimulate hops-centric styles of beer. As in previous years, the majority of the new crop is already contracted (> 90%).
“We expect the industry to again face an imbalance between what is contracted and what is really needed,” the report notes. “Marketers will once again be called upon to balance the market by directing available volumes where they are needed. This balancing act ranges from fairly easy to fairly complicated, depending on the strain. Not only will the quantities play a role, but any price differences will also have to be taken into account. “