Dear Readers,

You will have certainly heard the initial information in the trade press about the 2017 harvest in the two main hop growing countries Germany and USA, so that I will only comment briefly on the basic facts.

The area under cultivation has been increased again. In USA hops are grown on 23,906 ha and in Germany on 19,543 ha. This equates to a percentage of 72% of the worldwide hop acreage.

Whereas a good harvest is expected in the USA, this is unfortunately not the case for Germany. In the following I will therefore go into the German hop market in detail.

Less rainfall than 2016 meant that the estimation for the 2017 harvest was lower than the harvest output of 2016 despite the fact that the area under cultivation had been increased by 945 ha. Furthermore damage by hail had to be taken into consideration when estimating the harvest.

The 2017 harvest has been underway for 4 weeks and it is becoming evident that the long-time average yields per hectare for all aroma varieties will not be reached. Underdelivery of the contracts between hop growers and the buyers will be the normal case and not the exception.

The alpha values are also significantly below the 10 year average. More raw hops will have to be added in order to meet the alpha contracts.

There is a risk that the alpha acid clause may come into effect again for the varieties Saphir and Hersbrucker.

The alpha values for the bitter and high-alpha varieties will also lie below the 10 year average.

We will know more by the middle of October when the official figures are published, as in previous years, in the BRAUWELT.

The above mentioned facts explain the real price war between the trade companies for the very small amount on the 2017 harvest spot market.

The hop growers are currently offered the following net prices for the main varieties:

variety price
Hallertauer Tradition up to 11,00 €/kg raw hops
Hersbrucker up to 11,00 €/kg raw hops
Perle up to 12,00 €/kg raw hops
Saphir up to 11,80 €/kg raw hops
Spalter Select up to 11,50 €/kg raw hops
Magnum up to 75,– €/kg @ in raw hops
Taurus/Herkules/Polaris up to 72,– €/kg @ in raw hops

source: Hop Market Report No. 2 from 27.09.2017 Verband Deutscher Hopfenplanzer, own research.

In the light of the above the result will be very high product prices for spot quantities from the 2017 harvest. Lucky those who are covered by pre-contracts.

Hop products from previous harvests, provided that that there still are some, are also affected by this price development. “Cheap” hop products are no longer on the market.

Relatively reasonably priced on the other hand are the German flavour varieties Hüll Melon, Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria from the 2017 harvest as currently there is here little or no demand.

There is greater demand for the newer flavour varieties Ariana and Callista because of the still small acreage. Higher prices than the 3 varieties mentioned first are offered and paid for.

pre-contract market for 2018ff harvests :

The hop growers have been offeredattractive pre-contract prices in the last 12 – 24 months which were willingly accepted.

For this reason the pre-contract quote for the 2018 – 2020 harvests lie significantly above 80%. The quote for “special varieties” such as Tettnanger, Spalter or even Saphir may be even higher than that.

I would recommend those of you who do not absolutely necessarily need to trade, to stay calm and only finalize pre-contracts as from the 2021 harvest.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or e-mail.

Best regards

Rudolf Eisemann

(T.: +49 (0) 6226 – 4353 | E.: