Geelong Manufacturing Council member Malteurop recently farewelled large shipments of malt to Mexico and South Africa, adding new markets to its repertoire after bumper crops and China tariffs attracted new buyers.
A ship left Geelong laden with 15,000 tonnes headed for South Africa and the Castle beer brand, followed in December by another vessel carrying 25,000 tonnes departing for Mexico, where consumption of beers such as Corona is on the rise.
“We suddenly became competitive in these new markets,” Malteurop MD Trevor Perryman tells Geelong Manufacturing Council. “Our primary market is Southeast Asia but we are starting to dabble into Mexico when we can.
“Basically on the back of good crops here, bad crops there — and overlaid with recent Chinese tariffs on Australian Barley — drove down the barley price in Australia. So suddenly our raw material got a whole lot cheaper, meaning that we could compete in these non-traditional markets and price into those markets we normally don’t go.”
Malteurop is owned globally by a French farmer cooperative called VIVESCIA based in the Champagne region of north-eastern France. Mr Perryman has been at the helm for 12 years.
Malteurop produces 200,000 tonnes of malt annually after an $85 million expansion a few years ago. Using Victorian barley, the raw ingredient of malt, it serves mostly brewing customers such as CUB and Heineken, as well as some food manufacturers and distilleries. Around 85% is exported.
Brands using its malt include South Korea’s HITE and Oriental Brewery, Vietnam’s 333, Thailand’s Chang, Singa and Leo beer, India’s Kingfisher, Africa’s Castel, South Africa’s Castle and Mexico’s Corona.
The growth in Malteurop’s capacity in Australia, where the firm employs 45, makes the Geelong site one of its three key production hubs globally, and the company say that being located close to the large port and having “easy access to Australia’s educated pool of talent, transport and infrastructure systems and being adjacent to some of the best malting barley regions in Australia,” enhances its supply chain reliability.
The plant has the adaptability to pack and ship malt in several ways – bulk in ship’s hold, bulk into truck, bulk/bagged in container, individual bagged and palletized malt.
“This flexibility ensures our operations meet our customers’ requirements in the Export, Domestic and Craft markets,” Malteurop says.