Bumper yields in the current American hop harvest are pointing towards a likely surplus of US hops in the near future, according to Hopco.
The Pacific North West is experiencing perfect weather conditions and farmers couldn’t be happier at the halfway point of harvest, Hopco said in a progress report released today.
“Yields are up, the quality is looking exceptional and everything is moving along very smoothly,” Hopco said.
“Whilst in the US we witnessed Centennial, Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo and Stirling coming off the bines with the aromas intense.
“With bumper yields and the likelihood of excess hops being available, it looks like it’s about to become a brewers market, with a surplus of availability and potential price drops. Get ready for some good times!”
Various other factors are contributing to the likely surplus, Hopco’s Jon Burridge told Brews News.
“Overall the volume share [of] craft breweries in the US only grew 0.1 per cent from 2015 to 2016 as opposed to 1.2 per cent the previous year and then 3.2 per cent the year before that,” he said.
“Some US breweries both old and new are just not achieving the growth they expected.”
He said brewers that have over-committed are forced to either use the previous crop year until they fulfil their contract obligation, renegotiate with their hop supplier or sell the hops themselves, with the two latter options being preferred.
“Let’s face it, the majority of brewers want to be using the fresh crop year when it arrives,” he said.
“The agricultural side also plays its part, a lot of the extra bines put in the ground two and three years ago are now reaching full potential yield, which also helps put extra volume in the market.
“Whilst some suppliers are calling for contracts and locking in of allocations early, we recommend awaiting the prices before rushing in.”