Singapore-headquartered flour miller Interflour has started the construction of a malting plant in southern Vietnam, in a bid to capitalize on Vietnamese people’s beer drinking habit, according to the Weekly Times.
The malting plant will be the first in Vietnam as well as in Southeast Asia, as traditionally it has been difficult to malt in the tropics.
“Currently all the malt in Vietnam comes from Australia or Europe, so when we are established we will compete with the likes of Joe White Maltings,” said Joe Pampano, Interflour’s project director.
Barley will not be sourced solely from CBH Group or Australian growers, but from other countries when prices are competitive, he added.
Joe Pampano, Interflour’s project director. Photo: www.weeklytimesnow.com.au
The malting plant is expected to start operations next March, and to supply 40% of the 460,000 tons of malt currently imported into Vietnam each year. “Margins on malt will far exceed the margins that we get on flour at the moment,” Pampano said.
Interflour is equally owned by CBH Group, Australia’s biggest wheat exporter and cooperative, and Indonesian company Salim Group.
It has two Vietnamese sites, including a factory in Da Nang city, purchased last year from Foodinco Investment and Trading JSC, and at Cai Mep port in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam consumed 3.4 billion liters of beer in 2015, rising 10% from a year earlier and 41% from 2010, making it the largest beer market in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia, after Japan and China, according to data of the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol Beverage Association.
In the first five months of 2015, the sales volume of locally made beer grew 5.7% year-on-year to 1.3 billion liters, data of the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed.
The sales volume is projected to reach five billion liters by 2025, which will offer lucrative opportunities for foreign brewers.
Dutch beverage giant Heineken
has identified Vietnam as the next key driver for its growing Asia-Pacific business, as it becomes more difficult to squeeze profits from Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe. It is now the second largest brewer in Vietnam by sales, only after Sabeco