World beer market to grow over 1 pct in 2010-Plato

LONDON, Sept 21 Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:43am EDT

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - World beer consumption is expected to grow by between 1 and 1.5 percent in 2010 after only marginal growth in 2009, boosted by Asia and Africa, industry research group Plato Logic said on Tuesday.

Plato expects beer consumption to fall 1.8 percent in Europe during 2010 and sees low growth in the Americas region, while Asia/Pacific and the Africa/Middle East regions are expected to show growth of above 4 percent.

"We are forecasting some recovery in 2010 and global beer consumption to reach over 2.3 billion hectolitres in 2020," said Plato director Ian Pressnell in a statement. The world beer market increased less than 0.5 percent to 1.8 billion hectolitres in 2009.

Plato figures show the Chinese beer market at around 430 million hectolitres as being nearly twice as big as the second-biggest market, the United States, in 2009, while Brazil overtook Russia to become the third-biggest market, leaving Germany still in fifth position.

Chinese Snow beer retained its top spot in the world's leading beer brands in 2009. The beer brewed by a joint venture involving the world's second-biggest brewer SABMiller (SAB.L) was followed by Bud Light and Budweiser from the world's biggest brewer Anheuser Busch (ABI.BR) in a top three unchanged from 2008.

Another AB-InBev brand, Skol, was in fourth place followed by Mexican beer Corona (GMODELOC.MX), Tsingtao (600600.SS), AB-InBev brew Brahma, Heineken (HEIN.AS), Beijing Beer and Coors Light (TAP.N) to make up the top 10 brands. (Reporting by David Jones; Edited by Greg Mahlich)

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