Interestingly, the brands of beer which have won the most recognition in the market, are made using imported malt.
It is of little surprise therefore that the price for foreign malt is on average 40 to 50 per cent higher than the cost of domestically-grown gain. This means that Russian brewers often purchase domestically-produced malt, or even build their own malt factories.
These malt factories are often supported by domestic financial institutions. The Russian commercial bank Avangard for example has carried out a targeted programme that includes the construction of three malt processing facilities with total capacity of 300 thousand tons per annum.
The researchers interviewed key figures within the 50 largest brewing firms of the Russian Federation. According to results of these interviews, the three top foreign suppliers of malt to the Russian Federation are Shtamag from Austria, Weissheimer Malz from Germany and Irex, also from Germany. The top domestic manufacturers of malt include Kursk solodovni and two enterprises developed in Russia by Efes Pilsner and Souffle.
In first half of 2003, the Russian Federation imported 245 thousand tons of malt for brewing purposes. The major importer, Pivovarennaya kompaniya Baltika, enjoys a 40 per cent share of the market.
Market Advice reports that industry experts expect dynamic growth within the brewing industry in 2004. Some predict a 20 per cent increase in consumption, with the development of a popular light beer sector and growing disposable incomes.