Germany/USA: First hop surplus in seven years

The hop crop on the Northern hemisphere has started and the Association of German Hop Growers draws today a positive interim balance of this year's crop in its first crop report for the world’s second largest hop cultivation area. The preliminary estimate assumes a 7.1% increase in hop crop volume in all of Germany (48,818 tons) compared to the previous year (48,472 tons).

At the same time, the cultivation area in Germany was increased by 14% to 20.706 hectares (2019: 20417 ha). The Hallertau area continues to have by far the largest area with 17,233 hectares, followed by Elbe-Saale with 1,546 hectares, Tettnang with 1,479 hectares, Spalt 408 hectares and Rheinpfalz-Bitburg-Hochdorf with 22 hectares.

Until Wednesday, 7,518 tons which is about 15% of the whole quantity had been harvested and officially confirmed. Since weather conditions are favorable it is estimated that the crop will proceed quickly and can be terminated in time.

This year, weather in Germany came back to normal again after years of heat and drought and ensured favorable conditions for plant growth. Except in the Czech Republic which expects a slightly below average crop, the other European growing areas also see above average yields.

The largest crop in decades is expected in the USA. Here the cultivation area increased by 1,064 hectares (2,630 acres) or +5% to 23.957 (59,174 acres). This makes the United States again for five consecutive times in a row the biggest hop cultivation country in the world closely followed by Germany. The next growing areas by size follow at a large distance, namely The Czech Republic, China, Slovenia, Poland, UK, Australia, Spain and New Zealand. The global hop-growing area has grown to 62,644 hectares in 2020.

However, the demand for hops has declined this year due to the corona pandemic and the resulting decrease in beer consumption. For the first time in seven years there will be a surplus of hops again and during crop, prices on the free hop market are expected to fall significantly.

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