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EU figures show beer production back to pre-pandemic levels

Beer production is back to pre-pandemic level according to new statistics released by the European Union (EU).

The results, released by the EU’s official website Eurostat, revealed that EU countries produced 7% more beer in 2022 than in 2021 returning to levels closer to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

According to the findings, the EU produced almost 34.3 billion litres of beer containing alcohol and 1.6 billion litres of beer which contained less than 0.5% alcohol or had no alcohol content at all.

The pre-pandemic year of 2019 saw production at 34.7 billion litres and yet by 2022 the EU’s total beer (with and without alcohol) production was equivalent to almost 80 litres per inhabitant.

One of the key findings from the results showed that Germany continues to be the top beer producer and in 2022 it brewed 7.6 bn litres (more than 22% of the total EU production), meaning one in every four beers containing alcohol produced in the EU originated in Germany.

According to the statistics, Germany was followed by Spain, with 3.9 bn litres produced (more than 11% of total EU production), Poland with 3.7 bn litres (11%) the Netherlands with 2.6 bn litres (almost 8%) and France and Italy, both with 2.0 billion litres (each 6%).

When it comes to export, trade data showed that the Netherlands continued to lead as the top exporter of beer containing alcohol in 2022. The Netherlands exported a total of 2.6 billion litres of beer, accounting for 27% of the total EU beer exports.

The Netherlands was followed by Belgium (1.6 billion litres; 17%), Germany (1.5 billion litres; 16%), Czechia (0.6 billion litres; 6%) and Ireland (0.4 billion litres; 5%).

For imports, there was also no change compared with 2021, as France continued to be the largest importer of beer in 2022, with 0.9 billion litres, representing 17% of EU total imports. The other big importers were Italy with more than 0.7 billion litres (14%), Germany with less than 0.7 billion (12%), the Netherlands with 0.6 billion litres (11%) and Spain with 0.5 billion litres (10%).

The biggest export destination for beer however, was the UK which snapped up 860 million litres of beer from the EU, equivalent to 21% of total EU beer exports. The Brits were closely followed by the US which snaffled 716 million litres of EU beer equal to around 18%followed by China (349 million litres; 9%), Russia (271 million litres; 7%), and Canada (155 million litres; 4%).

Imports of beers containing alcohol from countries outside the EU are marginal compared to imports within the EU, the findings showed. Also, when importing from non-EU countries, EU countries typically favoured British beer (290 million litres equal to 57% of all EU imports of beer in 2022). Also popular in the EU was Mexican beer (99 million litres; 19% respectively) followed by Serbia (40 million litres; 8%), Ukraine (15 million; 3%) and China (11 million; 2%) which were all top import partners but with much smaller values.

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