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Thread: Crop numbers for hops - what am I missing here?

  1. #1
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    Crop numbers for hops - what am I missing here?

    So, everyone's talkin' Hops.

    I was doing a little research and came upon the Hopsteiner Homepage, which has the world crop reports for hops.

    http://www.hopsteiner.com/guide2007/index1.html

    So I'm going through the numbers expecting to see double-digit minus in crops, alpha, quantities in general and a plus in demand due to more beer being produced world-wide. For me it looks like a pretty normal year. Tell me, where am I NOT looking?? What factor is causing price explosions and (according to one hops dealer) 5 times the price from one year ago??

  2. #2
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    There seems to be contradictory data between the hopsteiner report and the numbers mentioned in Ralph Olsens talk:
    http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/s...ead.php?t=8916

    Who to believe? I agree with my boss. If we suddenly see a bunch of hops dumped on the market mid-late year 2008 at rock bottom prices, we will know the cause.

    My .02 cents worth

    DS
    David Scarborough
    Brewer at large
    East coast USA

  3. #3
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    I'm waiting for the correlation between the high hop prices and gasoline. It's only a matter of time - 'So & so triple batched today - gas prices up $0.75 per litre' or 'Terrorists strike oil pipeline in Iraq - hop prices to soar' will be the headlines soon.

    I've been wondering for a while if and how much of the 'doom & gloom' is manufactured by hop suppliers to raise prices. Sometimes I feel like I'm in an episode of Seinfeld waiting in a long line for hops only to be told by the hop nazi - 'No hops for you! You banned! Three months!...Next!'

  4. #4
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    Here's my crazy theory. One of the big guys went and bought up a huge amount of extra hops for the growth of thier "craft brands" and paided a premiun knowing that would decrease supply and affect small brewers more causing thier prices to rise opening the door for thier "craft brands". a little crazy but not too unbelieveable.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by frigatebay
    Here's my crazy theory. One of the big guys went and bought up a huge amount of extra hops for the growth of thier "craft brands" and paided a premiun knowing that would decrease supply and affect small brewers more causing thier prices to rise opening the door for thier "craft brands". a little crazy but not too unbelieveable.

    I don't know if there is any proof out there, but it sure wouldn't surprise me a bit.

  6. #6
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    None that I know of. Idea came to me late on night after a few too many IPAs

  7. #7
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    Not so crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by frigatebay
    Here's my crazy theory. One of the big guys went and bought up a huge amount of extra hops for the growth of thier "craft brands" and paided a premiun knowing that would decrease supply and affect small brewers more causing thier prices to rise opening the door for thier "craft brands". a little crazy but not too unbelieveable.
    I had a similar idea and I was very sober...before and after!

  8. #8
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    Enough of the conspiracy theories already.

    Take a look at the increase in per capita consumption numbers for the Eastern Rim countries.

    A small per capita increase multiplied by a couple of billion people + some poor planning by various groups within the hop industry = no hops (or at least very expensive hops). Imagine if it had been a poor crop year.

    Pax.

    Liam

  9. #9
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    I think it's not so much the supply side(though that is part of the problem), as much as the demand side is the real problem. There's so much more demand for hops these days, especialy overseas. I think the problem in the U.S., as far as craftbrewers go, is being compounded by the hoarding of hops by some breweries. I bet you about summer time a lot of these guys that have gotten into contracts for an insane amount of hops are going to start dumping them, which then opens another problem of how these were stored for six or seven months. I pity the guy who buys some Amarillo that were stored next to the boiler for six months.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by liammckenna
    Enough of the conspiracy theories already.

    Take a look at the increase in per capita consumption numbers for the Eastern Rim countries.

    A small per capita increase multiplied by a couple of billion people + some poor planning by various groups within the hop industry = no hops (or at least very expensive hops). Imagine if it had been a poor crop year.

    Pax.

    Liam
    I very much agree with your statement "+ some poor planning by various groups within the hop industry". I'll go a bit further and call it gross negligence. If because of a "perfect storm" of pressures on the hop market, all it takes is one large brewer to take advantage of the situation and screw everybody else, technically speaking I don't think that is a conspiracy. It would be, purely, very, very wrong. To cause so much economic and personal damage to so many small businesses and people is certainly bad beer karma. The system of selling hops as a commodity and having middlemen between the growers and brewers has failed us...badly. I plan to divorce myself from that system ASAP. In the meantime I may end up having to write very tactful and groveling letters to the large brewers, begging them to sell me a couple hundred lbs. of hops so that I don't end up in the brewer unemployment line. My pitch to the big breweries will be that they might get some good press for saving their "poor relations", the small brewers of America.

    I need a beer.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The most sucessful conspiracies are accomplished when the results of evil actions are blamed on bad luck. - von K

  11. #11
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    speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by liammckenna
    Enough of the conspiracy theories already.

    Take a look at the increase in per capita consumption numbers for the Eastern Rim countries.

    A small per capita increase multiplied by a couple of billion people + some poor planning by various groups within the hop industry = no hops (or at least very expensive hops). Imagine if it had been a poor crop year.
    The per capita increase can be found in "world beer production" which is, as assumed due to new/expanding eastern markets, up 3.1%, pretty much moving along as all international brewers expect (no big surprises). The world hop crop quantities are up 4.5%, which in my opinion not expected due to doomsday reports. The only chart which reflects somewhat the (supposed) off-balance supply/demand situation is the "World Alpha Supply" Chart which is negative for the second year running (if you also look here, beers in general are becoming less hoppy - one positive side of macro brands for micro brewers). In the end, thogh, it just doesn't add up.

    Not being a farmer or a hops dealer, I can only judge these numbers for what they are: numbers. I personally believe (and the numbers reflect this) that this is runnning a similar course to petroleum/crude oil: speculation (together with the weak dollar) is keeping the price high, and nothing else.

  12. #12
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    *Takes off shoe, talks into sole*


    'He knows....mmmhmmm....right away....'

    Sleep with one eye open einhorn...




    Just my lame attempt at humour.

  13. #13
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    Sometimes I just stand at my door, waiting...

    I want to believe.

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