The Belgian beer maker Interbrew is to increase the prices of beer on its domestic market by 2.5% the company said today, as a consequence of soaring malt prices in the third quarter of last year.

"Malt prices increased by more than 20% between July and October as droughts in the U.S. and Australia created a worldwide shortage," Guy Dewulf, a spokesman for Interbrew's Belgian division said today.

The company did not rule out further increases in beer prices if malt costs continued to escalate.

The price of malt may also affect the global price of beer but Dewulf said he could only comment on the impact for Interbrew's domestic operations.