Global Beer Production Up in ’03 – USA Ranks #2

Global beer production increased for the 19th consecutive year in 2003, with China remaining the top producer with its output accounting for 17.1 percent of the world production, the Kirin Brewery Co. said last Monday. The world’s beer output in the reporting year totaled 147.16 million kiloliters, up 2.0 percent from 2002, according to Japan’s major beer brewer. China produced a total of 25.10 million kl of beer in 2003, up 7.0 percent from the previous year. It ranked top for the second consecutive year.

Beer production in China has risen in line with its strong economic growth in recent years. The fact that an increasing number of foreign beer producers have began local production was another reason for the brisk beer production, Kirin Brewery said. The United States came second, with output of 23.08 million kl, or 15.7 percent of the world output. But its annual output represents a 1.6 percent fall from that in 2002.

Germany ranked third with an output of 10.53 million kl, down 2.1 percent, followed by Brazil with 8.52 million kl, down 2.3 percent, and Russia with 7.57 million kl, up 7.8 percent. Japan was at seventh place with 6.53 million kl, including output of “happoshu” low-malt beer, down 6.5 percent from the previous year due to the relatively cool summer in the reporting year as well as a tax increase for happoshu, Kirin Brewery said. In 2002, Japan was at sixth, but in 2003 Mexico surpassed Japan with output of 6.64 million kl, up 4.3 percent, to rank sixth.