US craft beer exports rise 3.6% to $125m in 2017

US industry body The Brewers Association (BA) has revealed that exports of US craft beer rose by 3.6% to US$125.4 million in 2017, but while this is a record high, it is now the third consecutive year that growth has slowed.

Canada has retained the top spot as the leading importer of US craft beer, representing 51.3% of total exports. The UK is the second largest market, accounting for 10.5%, ahead of Sweden (6.7%), Korea (4.6%), Australia (3.8%) and China (2.5%).

This year, the Asia-Pacific region (not including Japan) grew 7.4% versus 12.9% in 2016, while exports to Japan itself were up 2.6% but growth has slowed over the past year, with an increase of 22.6% recorded in 2016. Exports to western Europe (France, Spain and Italy) saw a 1.3% increase, compared to 0.4% last year.

Exports to the UK grew by 7.1% in 2017 with it now accounting for 10.5% of total exports in 2017, compared to 10.1% in 2016.

While 2017 represented another record year, export growth has slowed for the past three years. In 2014, US craft beer exports rose by 35.7%, in 2015 by 16% and in 2016 by 4.4%.

“From innovative styles to international distribution, American craft beer is breaking boundaries,” said Steve Parr, export development program manager at the Brewers Association.

“Through the Brewers Association Export Development Program, we’re able to take the success of local brewers and showcase them on a global scale”.

According to the export development program, there are currently more than 100 small and independent brewers exporting their beers from the US.

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