Ljubljana, 31 July (STA) - Slovenian beer exports grew by almost 20% in 2018 year-on-year, while hop exports increased by 17%, showed the Statistics Office data released on Wednesday, ahead of International Beer Day, which is observed on the first Friday in August.
The country's beer exports exceeded imports last year - exports topped EUR 34 million, while imports reached EUR 28.5 million.
Slovenia exported most of its beer to Croatia (30%), Italy (21%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (19%), while most of Slovenian beer imports, which decreased slightly last year (by 3%), came from Austria (40%), Croatia (19%) and the Czech Republic (10%).
The number of Slovenian beer makers is on the rise - there were 61 registered in Slovenia last year, which is quite an increase compared to 2010 when there were only 13 of them.
Beer lovers paid some 2.8 euro on average for half a litre of pale ale in pubs or some 90 cents in stores in 2018.
Slovenian hop growers produced more than 3,000 tonnes of hop, which is a record amount since 1998 and a 43% increase on 2017.
Slovenia ranks third in hop production among EU countries, following Germany and the Czech Republic. The country's hop exports outweighed imports by far, amounting to EUR 26 million. On the other hand, hop imports totalled EUR 2.1 million.
Almost half of Slovenian exported hop went to Germany last year, with China (16%) and the UK (10%) being target markets as well.