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Beating Tuff Comp in Dec, Imports End 2016 Up 2.1 Mil Bbls; Seals Modest US Shipments Gain for Yr

Goin’ against huge 29% gain in Dec 2015, imports tacked on another 145K bbls on top of that in Dec 2016. Posted 6% gain for the mo and barely off 2016 trend, according to Commerce Dept data reported by Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich.  Dec increase driven by 11% pop in Mexican shipments, more than a doubling from Germany.  For full yr, imports scored gain of 2.1 mil bbls, 6.8%.  Picked up near full share of US biz, to about 16 last yr.  Mexican shipments up record 2.7 mil bbls, 14%.  Irish shipments gained 155K bbls, 17%.  And German shipments up 232K bbls, 32%.  But big drops from other key source countries.  Dutch shipments shed 300K bbls, -6%.  Belgian shipments down 240K bbls, -10.4%.  Again, combo of Belgian drop and German surge, knowing solid Stella Artois numbers, suggests some Stella being shipped thru Germany again.  And look at tuff Canadian trend: -302K bbls, -17%.  UK shipments tanked, -25%; Italian shipments flat.  Solid Dec import # sealed small gain for total US shipments for the yr.  Right now sitting at +0.3-+0.4%.  Could edge up if TTB, per usual, adds volume to 2016 monthly reports when it releases 2017 numbers.  Even so, beer lost ground to both spirits (see below) and wine once again in terms of share of absolute alcohol consumption in US.  

While import gain offset domestic brewers’ dropoff, beer exports stalled, after posting gains in previous 5 yrs.  Dipped 42K bbls, 0.8%.  Exports to Canada up 4%, but exports to biggest mkt, Mexico, down 151K bbls, -7.4%.  Another tuff number: cider imports ended yr -43K bbls, -13.5%.

INSIGHTS Express Vol 19, No 25; February 7, 2017


2016 Gain Boosted By FL, TX and NY, BI Data Shows; Soft in CA, Midwest, New Eng; Up in South/Mtn (excerpt)

Preliminary state-by-state shipments data from Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich ‒ he’ll tweak the numbers throughout 2017 – suggests slightly higher 0.4% increase than we estimate for total US shipments. Of 800K-bbl total gain Michael estimated, 132K bbls in NY, 220K bbls in FL and 463K bbls in TX.  All in, 22 states up or even, 28 states and DC down.  In Northeast, New Eng shipments off near 2%, but Mid-Atlantic up 140K bbls, 0.6%.  In 3 Southern regions, shipments up 1.1 mil bbls, 1.4%.  In Midwest, shipments off about 200K bbls, 0.4%.  In West, shipments off 50K bbls, 0.1%, as biggest US mkt CA down near 200K bbls, 0.8% in Michael’s early look.

INSIGHTS Express Vol 19, No 19; January 30, 2017