Analysis and Studies - Products analysis

Beer: import and export

Beer is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, with a millennial history and a wide range of flavors and has accompanied humanity through the centuries, becoming part of many nations’ culture and tradition.

Its origins date back to 5000 BCE in ancient Mesopotamia, where women were considered the first brewmasters who produced it for religious ceremonies. It later spread to Egypt, thanks to the fertile shores along the Nile and becoming a staple in the diet.                                                                                                        In ancient Greece and Rome beer was known but wine was preferred, whereas it was more popular among the Celts and Germans in central Europe. During the Middle Ages, European monks in monasteries became expert brewers, improving techniques and introducing hops for flavoring instead of aromatic herbs.

A significant development in beer history was due to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, which stipulated that beer could only be made from barley, water, and hops. Later the Industrial Revolution brought technological advancements such as the steam engine, refrigeration, improving beer quality and consistency, and also marked the transition to a male-dominated industry.

The late 20th century witnessed the rise of the craft beer movement, particularly in the United States and Europe, where small, independent breweries focused on quality and innovation.

In 2022, beer was the world's 249th most traded product, with a total trade of $17B.

In 2022 the top exporter of beer was Mexico with a trade of $5.95B, ahead of Netherlands ($2.06B), Belgium ($1.7B), Germany ($1.19B), and United States ($603M). Whereas the country which imported beer the most was United States with a trade of $6.88B, followed by France ($1.07B), Italy ($697M), Netherlands ($550M), and China ($544M).

In the export trade strong regional preferences are present. Mexico, with its dominant position, has the United States as primary consumer, whereas the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have a broad appeal across Europe and beyond, with significant penetration into Asian and North American markets as well.

Meanwhile, the United States, despite exporting a relatively small amount of beer compared to its imports, focuses its export efforts primarily on neighboring Latin American countries.

  1. Mexico (35%): 91.1% United States, 0.88% Chile, 0.83% Guatemala, 0.62% Australia, 0.43% China, 0.35% Netherlands
  2. Netherlands (12.1%): 40.3% United States, 8.83% France, 5.65% Canada, 3.93% Germany, 3.64% China, 3.21% Italy, 1.64% Paraguay
  3. Belgium (10%): 38.4% France, 18.2% Netherlands, 7.74% Italy, 6.15% Spain, 4.86% China, 3.26% United States
  4. Germany (7.03%): 23% Italy, 8.79% China, 7.45% Russia, 5.69% United States, 5.68% Netherlands, 5.38% France, 2.86% Spain,1.72% Canada, 0.94% Chile
  5. United States (3.54%): 16.8% Chile, 14.6% Panama. 14% Honduras, 13% Canada, 2.31% China, 2.22% Paraguay

Some data of the previous graphic are confirmed: indeed, the United States, which holds a pivot role in the imports market with a 40.5% share, imports mainly from Mexico, as well as from European countries.


France, Italy and the Netherlands rely heavily on intra-continental trade and neighboring producers. China, on the other hand, showcases a diversified import strategy, sourcing beer from multiple European countries as well as North America.

  1. United States (40.5%): 78.7% Mexico, 12.1% Netherlands, 2.43% Ireland, 0.99% Germany, 0.81% Belgium
  2. France (6.29%): 61.2% Belgium, 17% Netherlands, 6.02% Germany, 4.75% United Kingdom
  3. Italy (4.1%): 39.5% Germany, 18.9% Belgium, 12.4% Denmark, 9.5% Netherlands, 4.27% Poland, 0.81% Mexico, 0.25% United States
  4. Netherlands (3.24%): 56.3% Belgium, 12.3% Germany, 7.18% United Kingdom, 5.82% Poland, 3.74% Mexico, 1.01% United States
  5. China (3.2%): 19.3% Germany, 15.2% Belgium, 13.8% Netherlands, 9.94% France, 8.79% Spain, 4.66% Mexico, 3.07% United Kingdom, 2.56% United States

Between 2021 and 2022, the fastest growing exporter of beer was Mexico with an increase of $345M, ahead of United States ($79.1M), United Kingdom ($48.1M), China ($45.4M), and Vietnam ($34.4M).


  1. Mexico: from $5.6B to $5.95B
  2. United States: from $523M to $603M
  3. United Kingdom: from $512M to $560M
  4. China: from $292M to $337M
  5. Vietnam: from $84.6M to $119M

Whereas the imports grew the fastest in the United States with an increase of $457M, followed by Cuba ($60.7M), Panama ($32.4M), Canada ($29.4M), and United Arab Emirates ($27.6M).



  1. United States: from $6.42B to $6.88B
  2. Cuba: from $27.5M to $88.2M
  3. Panama: from $96.3M to $129M
  4. Canada: from $335M to $364M
  5. United Arab Emirates: from $154M to $181M