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LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), August 2 (SeeNews) - Slovenia's beer exports rose 20% to 34 million euro ($37.7 million) in 2018, beating imports which went down 3% to 28.5 million euro, the statistical office said.
The largest export markets for Slovenian beer last year were Croatia (30%), Italy (21%) and Bosnia (19%), while imports came mainly from Austria (40%), Croatia (19%) and the Czech Republic (10%), the statistical office said in a statement on Thursday.
A total of 61 enterprises were registered last year as beer producers in the tiny Adriatic country of less than 2.1 million people, indicating the growing popularity of the industry, considering there were only 13 beer producers in the country back in 2010.
Slovenia produced 3,078 tonnes of hops on some 1,700 hectares of land in 2018, up 43% compared to a year earlier and a record high since 1998.
Slovenia thus ranked the third largest hops producer in the EU, after Germany and the Czech Republic, the statement said.
In 2018, Slovenia exported hops worth over 26 million euro, with half of the amount going to Germany, 16% to China and 10% to the UK.
Hops imports totalled 2.1 million euro last year.
Ljubljana-based Pivovarna Lasko Union, which is 100%-owned by Heineken, is the largest brewer in the country.