The March 2017 Beer Purchasers' Index for total beer at 49.4 saw a nice increase from the February 2017 reading of 43.8; however, the March 2017 reading was still below the March 2016 reading of 66.3. The index coming in so close to 50 indicates a steady state for beer orders as we head into spring. Overall, we can still expect to see slower beer shipments in the first quarter. The index for "at risk inventory" increased by 4 points, from 54 in February 2017 to 58 in March 2017. As inventories are depleted in Q2, the industry should see lower "at risk" index readings.
The BPI survey asks purchasers at beer distributorships if they ordered more beer, about the same or less beer from their suppliers in the current month. The results are reported as a composite diffusion index where a reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, and a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting. Full BPI results covering all industry segments over time are available to participating NBWA distributor members. The survey window to collect responses is relatively short (about 10 days) and survey results are typically published to participants within 24 hours after the survey closes.
Participating NBWA distributor members also get the first look at a measure of "at risk" inventories by segment - at risk measures the volume of beer considered to be at risk of going out of code within the next 30 days.
The next BPI survey (for April purchases) will run from April 10 through April 17 and results will be released to participating distributors on April 18.