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How’s Biz? Gettin’ Better; Apr Import Pop and Scans Vastly Improved in May; New Brands!

No question shipments soft going into summer selling season.  Question is: how soft? US beer shipments (domestic taxpaids + imports) down 940,000 bbls, 1.4% Jan thru Apr.  That’s improvement after Apr imports got good pop: +308,000 bbls, 10.6%, reports Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich, based on Commerce Dept data.  Recall, domestic brewers’ shipments down 1.45 mil bbls, nearly 3% thru Apr. But MC short-shipped nearly 400K bbls in Q1 due to problems in Golden and possibly another 100K bbls or so in Apr.  Adjusting for that, plus import gain, suggests underlying US trend may be closer to -0.7%, not nearly as bad. And that’s better than range of Michael’s current 2018 forecast: -1% to -3%. What’s summer comp like?  Last yr, US shipments May thru Aug virtually flat vs ’16. ...

excerpt, beer marketer's INSIGHTS, vol 49, no 11; June 11, 2018


Nice Pop for Imports in April: +308K Bbls, 10.6%; Pushed Yr-to-Date Gain to Half-Mil Bbls, +4.6% 

Another good number.  Just as May scans really picked up, so did Apr import shipments.  Driven by 356K-bbl, 18% jump in Mexican imports (hadda happen sooner or later), Apr imports up 308K bbls, 10.6%, reports Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich based on Commerce Dept data.  Belgian shipments more than doubled, but ugly trends from other key countries: Dutch shipments down 25%, Irish down 47% and German down 36%.  For 4 mos, import gain now just over half-mil bbls, 4.6%.  Mexican shipments alone up 711K bbls, 9.5% for 4 mos, so big net loss otherwise.  Indeed, very uneven trends: Belgian shipments zoomed 230K bbls, 48% and Canadian and Irish shipments posted modest gains.  But shipments from Netherlands down 278K bbls, 17%, German shipments down 171K bbls, 45% and UK shipments off 53K bbls, 57%.  Nice Apr import pop improved overall US trend, natch.  US biz down 938K bbls, 1.4% for 4 mos and about half of that looks like MC shortfall due to Golden problems.  So, “underlying” rate suggests shipments dropoff of less than 1% YTD.

INSIGHTS Express, Vol 20, No 110; June 6, 2018



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