Today: February 12, 2016, 10:50 am

China beer market: Over 500 regional breweries
China Beer Market Insights 2013 - a new market research report on 2014-04-22 07:33:02
Growth in the China beer market was lower in 2012, although still higher than most Western markets. More brewers are entering the premium beer sector to offset the thinning margins in mainstream and discount beer. 2012 sales growth was mainly hampered by fiercer competition, rising costs in labor, packaging and raw materials. The lower GDP growth rate this year also had a negative influence on beer consumption.

China has the world´s highest overall consumption, but leading brewers face an uphill struggle to find strong profits. Given the country´s preference for high-strength baijiu, health and safety issues associated with alcohol are a concern. Increased taxes coupled with media and industry promotions for healthier drinking habits have meant more consumers are choosing lower-strength alcohol.

On 15 April 2012 China´s adjusted tax on imports came into effect, which means stricter control on goods coming into the Chinese mainland. According to the latest revision, tax equal 50% has been imposed on wines, beer and other sprits and tobacco.

China is a collection of regional markets with very few brewers able to operate at a truly national level. There are over 500 breweries, though more than half are unprofitable and almost half of the production capacity reportedly lies idle.

As China struggles to export its domestic brands westwards, Tsingtao seems to have bucked the trend to be one of the few to have had any semblance of success in western consumer markets.

As the largest foreign brewer in China, A-BInBev never stops its investment in China´s beer market. At the beginning of 2013, A-BInBev has struck a deal to acquire Nanchang Asia Brewery to help it tap into middle and low-end markets in China.

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