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Beer/Malt/Barley

Regional beer figures 2011:

  • The 29 EastAgri countries produced about 25 million tonnes of beer
  • Russia was the largest producer of beer in the EastAgri region, producing about 10 million tonnes (40% of total regional production)
  • The top 4 producing countries (Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania) produced about 15.7 million tonnes of beer (75% of total regional production)
  • The average per capita consumption of beer in the EastAgri region was 52.6kg/yr
  • Domestic consumption of beer in the EastAgri region was about 25 million tonnes
  • Russia had the highest domestic consumption with about 10 million tonnes
  • Source: FAOSTAT



    Click pie chart for full world production and trade statistics


    Beer is a naturally carbonated, fermented beverage made from malted barley, water, hops, and yeast (although other ingredients such as fruits of spices are sometimes used). It is the most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world and is also the third most consumed drink in the world overall after water and tea. Most industrial brewers produce standard beer ‘Pilsner’, also called draught or lager beer, which serves over 90% of the market. Speciality beers include dark beers, fruit beers, unfiltered beers, and beers with high (6-10%), low (1-2%) or no alcohol. The variable cost of pilsner beer ranges from $600-$900 per ton, depending on the type of packaging used. Despite their importance to taste, ingredients only account for about 5-10% of the variable cost, processing cost (utilities, waste water) for 3-6%, and packaging (bottle, can, keg, carton, crate) for the remaining 85-90%.

    The production of malt from barley is a specialised industry and is the principle ingredient of beer (yet is also used in making whisky, snacks and other food items). Barley must first be malted by soaking the barley in water for close to 40 hours and then dried. Brewers can either purchase barley to manufacture themselves or purchase malt from malting companies. Roasted malt is steeped with hot water to create liquid called wort, to which hops are added to provide the beer with its bitterness and aroma. The taste is controlled by the quality of malt and hops, but clean water is equally as critical for quality. The wort is then transferred to a fermentation tank where yeast is added to convert the grain sugar into alcohol (between 4-5%). Beer is later filled into bottles, cans or kegs.


    Production and trade in the EastAgri region


    EastAgri top barley producers in 2012
    CountryQuantity (tonnes)% of region total
    1. Russia13,951,67633%
    2. Turkey7,100,00017%
    3. Ukraine6,936,40017%
    Region total41,777,933-
    EastAgri top beer producers in 2011
    CountryQuantity (tonnes)% of region total
    1. Russia9,935,92041%
    2. Poland3,806,65716%
    3. Ukraine3,055,53013%
    Region total24,193,121-



    EastAgri top beer importers in 2011

    CountryQuantity (tonnes)% of region total
    1. Russia314,81325%
    2. Bosnia & Herzegovina137,82311%
    3. Slovakia102,5738%
    Region total1,251,076-

    EastAgri top beer exporters in 2011

    CountryQuantity (tonnes)% of region total
    1. Ukraine279,77122%
    2. Russia211,41417%
    3. Poland199,51716%
    Region total1,269,657-



    - For full barley production and trade stats in the EastAgri region please click here
    - For full beer production and trade stats in the EastAgri region please click here

    - For import and export trade partners for barley, please click here
    - For import and export trade partners for beer, please click here

    Related publications

  • Agribusiness Handbook: Barley Malt Beer (2009)

  • Related news

  • Cheers to Kyrgyz beverage producer, August 2013
  • EBRD loan for Heineken brewery in Belarus, January 2013
  • EBRD supports private brewery in Mongolia, May 2010
  • EBRD loan to Soufflet malt plant promotes barley cultivation in Romania, October 2007
  • EBI expands in Kazakhstan beer market with EBRD support, June 2007
  • EBRD takes $3m equity in Georgian brewery, February 2006


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