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Import Shipments Slip 1% in Oct; Still +1.3 Mil Bbls, 4.5% Yr-to-Date; Gain Virtually All from Mexico

Following solid 5.5% gain in Q3, import shipments paused in Oct.  Off 29K bbls, 1%, reports Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich based on Commerce Dept data.  For 10 mos, imports still up 1.3 mil bbls, 4.5%, offsetting about 40% of Michael’s estimate of domestic brewers’ dropoff.  So, for 10 mos, total US shipments down 1.8 mil bbls, 1%. Mexican shipments kept pace in Oct, +8%. But shipments off from most other key source countries, mostly double digits.  Ireland was outlier, +26%. …

(excerpt) INSIGHTS Express, Vol 20, No 233; December 7, 2018


Pabst and MC “Amicably” Settle Nasty Contract Dispute; No Harm, No Foul, No Details  

After 9 days of testimony, cross-examination and atty statements, including charges of “fear,” “greed” and intimations that at least some execs lied under oath, Pabst and MC “amicably resolved all outstanding issues in the case.”  So said MC communications chief Pete Marino. Pabst assured its brands will be available to their fans “for many, many years to come.” Abrupt settlement followed 1 day of jury deliberation. No details public yet. Gotta figure Pabst will pay more for its beer to secure ongoing supply and MC’s profits improve, but for how long and how much, respectively, ain’t divulged.

Briefly, Pabst claimed MC’s determination it would not have sufficient capacity after 2020 to brew for Pabst was “pretext” to get out of contract and hurt Pabst as competitor.  MC could end agreement only if it reasonably determined it would not have sufficient capacity to extend. Critically, MC had “sole discretion” to determine that. When MC analyzed current capacity, projected volumes and potential brewery closures (possibly 2 more beyond Eden, NC) in Aug-Sep 2015, concluded it would not have capacity.  Pabst believes MC fashioned analysis to falsely claim insufficient capacity. That would breach good faith, violate Wisc competition laws and led to lawsuit. Over 9 days, attys put jury thru dizzying array of contradictory testimony and emails, plus attempts to damage credibility of witnesses. But jury never got to resolve dispute and each side now publicly smilin’.

Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS, Vol 49, No 22; November 30, 2018

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