Feb 2, 2013

Vietnam - 500 million liters of beer for lunar New Year 2013

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VietNamNet Bridge – The economic recession, high inflation rate, high unemployment rate, low Tet bonus have in no way affected the Vietnamese habit of drinking beer.

Brewery manufacturers have estimated that some 500 liters of beer would be consumed on the 2013 Tet – the New Lunar Year of the Snake. Sabeco remains the biggest manufacturer with 260 million liters of beer to be consumed, followed by VBL with 100 million liters and Habeco 100 million liters. Besides, the imports and the products from other 350 breweries nationwide would also join the market.

Plenty to drink, but prices keep escalating

The three main products of Sabeco – the Saigon red beer, Saigon Special and 333 canned beer – have seen the prices increase by five percent since January 15.

The factory price is now VND122,980 per box for Saigon Red, VND167,090 for Saigon Special and VND195,745 for 333. The market demand is relatively high with the 333 sales up by 11 percent and Saigon Red up by 23 percent in comparison with the same period of the last year.

The breweries of VBL have also been running at full capacity, planning to increase the output by 20 percent over the last year. Sapporo Vietnam has launched 2.5 million liters of beer to the market on Tet sale season, which is 10 times higher than that of two years ago.

A survey conducted in 36 cities nationwide has found that Vietnamese like Saigon Red products (28.1 percent), 333 (16 percent), Hanoi beer (11.4 percent) and Heineken (10 percent like canned products and 6.8 percent like bottled)

The retail prices of 333, Saigon, Heineken, Tiger have increased by VND15,000-20,000 per box over the last two weeks. However, this does not mean the short supply. Analysts have said that even if the market demand increases sharply in some days, the short supply would not occur, because import products have been flooding big cities.

It is the import tariff reduction from 45 percent to 30 percent in 2012 which has led to the higher imports. It is estimated that nearly 100 import items bearing 40 well-known brands have been available in the domestic market.

The products sourced from Germany, Belgium, France, Czech, Russia, the US and Japan have been selling very well in Vietnam, even though they are 4-10 times more expensive than domestically made products.

Vietnam the big beer drinker

Euromonitor International, a market survey firm, pointed out that Vietnam is the biggest beer consumer in South East Asia with 2.6 billion liters of beer sold in 2011. Kirin Holdings, a well known brewery manufacturer from Japan, has also listed Vietnam among the 25 countries which drink most in the world with the consumption increasing by 15 percent per annum.

The reports by the leading brewery companies showed that in 2012, Vietnam consumed 3 billion liters of beer which means every Vietnamese drinks 28-30 liters a year. Vietnam remains the third biggest beer consumer in Asia to Japan and China.

Over the last 10 years, the beer consumption has increased by 200 percent. In 2003, the output was 1.28 billion liters, while the figure exceeded the 2 billion liter threshold just five years later, in 2008.

The increasingly high demand has prompted investors to pour more capital in the industry. According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam has some 350 breweries throughout the country, including 20 breweries with the capacity of over 20 million liters per annum.


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