- 12 Aug 2019 12:00 PM
- Budapest Business Journal
Last year, a total of over 39 billion liters of beer containing alcohol were produced in the European Union, according to statistics released by Eurostat to mark International Beer Day on August 2. EU beer production was equivalent to around 76 liters per inhabitant.
Unsurprisingly, the EUʼs biggest beer producer in 2018 was Germany, which turned out 8.3 bln liters of the amber nectar.
Beer production in Hungary reached 673 million liters in 2018, relatively little in comparison with regional rivals Poland, where output reached over 4 bln liters, and the Czech Republic, where it stood at 1.95 bln liters. However, Hungarian beer output oustripped Slovakia, which produced a relatively paltry 176 mln liters.
The headline figure for EU beer production in 2018 does not include over 1 bln liters of beer which contained less than 0.5% alcohol, or had no alcohol content at all.
Beers all round!
Two-thirds of the beer containing alcohol produced in the EU came from just six Member States, the statistics show. Germany accounted for 21% of total production; in other words, one in every five beers containing alcohol produced in the EU originated from Germany.
Germany was followed by the United Kingdom (4.5 bln liters, 12%), Poland (4 bln liters, 10%), Spain (3.6 bln liters, 9%), the Netherlands (2.4 bln liters, 6%), and Belgium (2.4 bln liters, 6%).
While beer production leapt in Italy and Hungary, production of beer in the U.K. fell by 20%, in both Austria and Slovakia by 10%, and in the Netherlands by 9%.
Even so, the Netherlands was the largest beer exporter of all EU Member States, exporting 1.9 bln liters of beer containing alcohol in 2018, ahead of Belgium and Germany (1.6 bln liters each), France (0.6 bln liters), and the U.K. (0.5 bln liters).
Hopping around the world
The United States was by far the top destination for beer exports to non-EU countries, with 1 bln liters exported there in 2018, or 29% of total extra-EU exports of beer.
Among non-EU beer export destinations, the U.S. was followed by China (453 mln liters, 13%), Russia (234 mln liters, 7%), Canada (217 mln liters, 6%), and South Korea (198 mln liters, 6%).
The internal market for beers containing alcohol that are not produced in the EU is marginal, Eurostat noted. Among imports from non-EU countries, Member States heavily favored Mexican beer (250 mln liters, or 52% of all extra-EU imports of beer in 2018), ahead of Serbian beer (57 mln liters, 12%), and U.S. beer (43 mln liters, 9%).