China will account for a quarter of world beer consumption by 2015 as consumers in emerging markets continue to make up for beer market stagnation in Europe and North America, according to market research group Canadean.

Global beer consumption is set to rise by an average 3% per year up to 2015, Canadean said in its latest Global Beer Trends report, published today (8 November).

The next five years will see China emerge as an even more dominant force. Its national beer market is set to reach 573m hectolitres by 2015, more than twice as big as the US, which will remain the second largest beer market in the world. China will account for one in four beers sold globally, said Canadean.

Asia and Africa will continue to drive global beer consumption and both regions are expected to see consumption rise by 5% annually in the next five years. Beer consumption in Latin America will also rise by 3% per year, said Canadean.

The story is unsurprisingly very different for mature markets in Western Europe and North America, where national beer markets have been in leaking volume in recent years.

Within this context, the good news for brewers is that Western Europe will stabilise and remain broadly flat for the next five years, while North America's beer market will creep up by 0.5% per year, if Canadean's forecast is correct.

Eastern Europe and Australia are set to be somewhat caught in the schism between emerging and western markets. Beer volume sales in Australasia will rise by 1% annually up to 2015, said Canadean. Eastern Europe, meanwhile, will report annual rises of 1.5%, reflecting rebounding fortunes for beer in Russia.