Suds shipments went flat in July

Kyodo News

Beer shipments in July plunged 11.8 percent from a year earlier to 46.18 million cases, hitting a record low for the month due to the effects of the economic slump and bad weather, industry reports showed Wednesday.

The plunge in the shipments were affected by prolonged rain mainly in northern and western Japan, as well as a reaction to solid shipments a year earlier amid heat waves, bringing the July figure to its lowest point since 1992, when industry groups and brewers began reporting data under the current format.

One case contains 20 633-milliliter bottles.

Although brewers usually log sales growth during the summer, an industry official said the unstable weather weakened sales.

“The weak trend may continue in August and later this year,” the official said.

Of the total beer shipments in July, conventional beer dropped 14.4 percent to 24.86 million cases, a record low for July, partly affected by the shrinking of the market due to the low birthrate and aging population.

“Happoshu” low-malt beer plunged 23.2 percent to 8.64 million cases.