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Asian beer boom

Grains Research and Development Corporation

INDIA may soon challenge Australia’s title as the "lucky country" as its brewing industry undergoes massive expansion.

With a population above one billion, India has a serious national thirst.

China also looms as a buoyant beer market and, combined with India, needs to import more than two million tonnes of malt each year to meet growing local demand for the amber ale.

Australia’s grains industry has always recognised the tremendous markets located to our north west and growers and the Federal Government have supported research through the Grains Research and Development Corporation to meet their market needs.

However, the needs of developing Asian markets are evolving as consumer preferences become less bound by economic necessity and more closely aligned with the consumer behaviour of the west.

India, for example, has the 14th largest manufacturing economy in the world, the 11th largest economy in total gross domestic production terms and is fifth in purchasing power parity.

With that type of economic development tastes grow more discerning and consumers experiment with different products. Purchases become less subsistence based and more money is spent on leisure products such as beer.

Not all beer in developing Asian countries is made from quality barley malt, with some derived from feed quality barley and others from alternative grains such as chickpea.

– John Lovett

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