Ukrainian breweries boosted beer output by 21% last year, Ukrpyvo, the republic's leading beer industry association, has reported.

Ukrpyvo, whose members account for 68% of Ukraine's beer market, produced 91m decaliters (236.6m gallons) of beer in 2001.

With the development of new brewing facilities across the industry, Ukrpyvo's top economist Halyna Korenkova said, in an Interfax news report, that the industry expects overall beer output to reach up to 150m decaliters in 2002.

There is also hope for a continuing rise in exports. Ukrpyvo exported 9m decaliters (23.4 million gallons) last year, which was 6.5% more than in 2000.

In line with the country's economy in general, the Ukrainian breweries have grown steadily over the last three years.