Europe: Malting industry virtually sold out

The EU malting industry has full books for the ongoing campaign. “Capacities are more or less sold out, and inquiries are still coming in from brewers for deliveries in 2018,” states H.M. Gauger in his latest market report. Maltsters were surprised by large call-offs even during the winter time, when business is usually calm and stocks pile up.

 “Amongst the possible explanations are the fast expansion of craft brewing in Western Europe, the doubling of craft and premium beer consumption during the last decade and the assumed larger malt share in beer in the world, from 10 kilos some years ago to almost 11 kilos/hl now,” says Gauger. Business for 2019 has hardly started, according to the expert.

New malting capacities at Antwerp (+120,000 tons) and Eemshaven (+140,000 tons) do not cause much apprehension of oversupplies and market pressure.  According to market experts the new capacities, which will come on stream soon, is already sold.

As reported earlier (, 8.2.2017), Boortmalt,which has a yearly production of 1.1 million tons  of malt and operates 10 malthouses mainly in Europe is going to open a fourth malting tower in the harbor of Antwerp, raising capacity from 360,000 to 480,000 tons thus making it the largest single-site malting in the world. Boortmalt CEO Yvan Schaepman, announced this week that production of the new tower will start in August. The manager, who is heading the fifth largest maltster in the world since 2009, has big plans for his company:  “I want to double Boortmalt over the next five years”, he said in an interview with Belgian newspaper De Tijd on Saturday.

However, it is believed that despite the favorable raw material supply the focus of future enlargements of existing maltings and constructions of new ones will be in growing beer markets like Asia, Africa and Latin America rather than in saturated markets like Europe, North America and Australia.

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