In addition, in 2020, the EU Member States produced 1.4 billion litres of beer which contained less than 0.5% alcohol or had no alcohol content at all.
Compared with 2019, EU’s production of beer containing alcohol decreased by 8%, while the production of non-alcholic beer remained stable.
In 2020, the EU’s total beer production was equivalent to around 74 litres per inhabitant.
Germany: top beer producer
Among the EU Member States, Germany was the top producer in 2020 with 7.5 billion litres (24% of the total EU production). In other words, about one in every four beers containing alcohol produced in the EU originated from Germany.
Germany was followed by Poland with 3.8 bn litres produced (12% of total EU production), Spain (3.3 bn litres produced, or 10%), the Netherlands (2.5 bn litres, or 8%), France (2.1 bn litres, or 7%), Czechia (1.8 bn litres, or 6%) and Romania (1.7 bn litres, or 5%).
Source dataset: DS-066341
Comparing with 2019, Slovakia recorded the largest increase in the production of beer containing alcohol (+25%), followed by far by Greece, Lithuania and France (all +3%).
In contrast, the beer production in Italy almost halved in 2020 (-46% compared with 2019), while large decreases were also observed in Croatia (-29%), Spain (-14%), Hungary (-13%) and Austria (-11%).
The Netherlands: top exporter
The Netherlands exported 1.9 bn litres of beer containing alcohol in 2020, accounting for 21% of total (intra- and extra-EU) EU beer exports. This made it the largest beer exporter among EU Member States, ahead of Belgium (1.7 bn litres; 19%) and Germany (1.5 bn litres; 17%), followed by France and Czechia (both 0.5 bn litres; 6%) as well as Ireland and Poland (both 0.4 bn litres; 5%).
The main destinations for beer exports to non-EU countries were the United States (895 million litres; 22% of total extra-EU beer exports) and the United Kingdom (881 million litres; 21%).
Source dataset: DS-645593
France: top importer
With 0.8 bn litres, France was the largest importer of beer containing alcohol in 2020 and represented 16% of EU total (intra- and extra-EU) imports. Germany imported 0.7 bn litres (13%), closely followed by Italy (0.6 bn litres; 12%), the Netherlands (0.6 bn litres; 11%) and Spain (0.5 bn litres; 10%).
Imports of beers containing alcohol from countries outside the EU are marginal compared to imports within the EU. When importing from non-EU countries, Member States favoured British beer (268 million litres; 51% of all extra-EU imports of beer in 2020, taking into account that in 2020 the United Kingdom was still in the internal market) and Mexican beer (95 million litres; 18% respectively).
This news item marks tomorrow’s International Beer Day. Drink responsibly.
For more information:
- Overview of statistics on manufactured goods (PRODCOM)
- Database of statistics on manufactured goods (PRODCOM)
- Overview of statistics on international trade in goods
- Database of statistics on international trade in goods
- Dutch trade flows might be affected by the so-called ‘Rotterdam effect’ (or quasi-transit trade): that is goods bound for other EU countries arrive in Dutch ports and, according to EU rules, are recorded as extra-EU imports by the Netherlands (the country where goods are released for free circulation). Although to a lesser extent, trade figures of other Member States may also be overestimated due to quasi-transit. You can read more in FAQ.
- The United Kingdom is considered as an extra-EU partner country for the EU for the whole period covered by this article. However, the United Kingdom was still part of the internal market until the end of the transitory period (31 December 2020), meaning that data on trade with the United Kingdom were still based on statistical concepts applicable to trade between the EU Member States. Consequently, while imports from any other extra-EU trade partner are grouped by country of origin, the United Kingdom data reflect the country of consignment. In practice this means that the goods imported by the EU from the United Kingdom were physically transported from the United Kingdom but part of these goods could have been of other origin than the United Kingdom. For this reason, data on trade with the United Kingdom are not fully comparable with data on trade with other extra-EU trade partners.
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