The hop acreage in the world has increased by 1.673 ha (+2.8%), according to the last market report of Bart-Haas group. Almost all growing countries have added acreage in 2018 albeit at a much slower pace than in previous years. Total hop acreage now exceeds the 60.000 ha mark again for the first time in over 20 years. USA and Germany are still counting for about one third of the total acreage each with the rest of the world accounting for the remaining third.
So far the growing conditions are favorable. The plant growth in Europe is about 10-20 days ahead of its long-term average. The very warm spring with above average temperatures all the way from April through June (see chart) caused plants to grow very rapidly in Germany. Precipitation has varied strongly from area to area but has been sufficient on average.
Herkules continues to lead the expansion in Germany adding another 512 ha and Polaris the only other bitter variety gaining ground. The decline in Magnum has slowed down. On the aroma side Barth-Haas sees careful expansion in some of the traditional aroma varieties (Perle, Select, Saphir) and a needed correction of acreage in the German flavour varieties (Mandarina Bav., Melon).
In the United States the overall crop development appears to be approximately one week ahead of average. The relatively mild spring, low pest pressure, and ample water has provided ideal growing conditions.
Citra® has become the number one variety in the US having added another 1,532 acres (+30%). Cascade on the other hand drops 936 acres (-13%) and into #3 position behind CTZ. A big increase for CTZ (+487ha/1,218 acres) and HBC 682 (+291 ha/728 acres or 73%) is putting the US strongly back into the high alpha rink.
Barth-Haas expects a balanced supply and demand for the 2019 brewing year. Hop demand is expected to increase further despite a stagnant beer market as flavorful and well-hopped beers continue to expand and displace lighter versions.