Beer shipments slide on late summer

Kyodo

Shipments of beer and beerlike drinks slumped 9.3 percent to 42.96 million cases in July from the previous year as wet weather delayed the onset of summer, Japan’s top five brewers said Friday.

The decline was the first in three months and set a record low for July. A case holds 20 633-ml bottles. Demand was weak because a prolonged rainy season delayed summer’s arrival.

Regular beer dived 10.1 percent to 22.66 million cases while those of “happoshu” low-malt beer tumbled 15 percent to 5.83 million cases. Even sales of inexpensive “third category” beerlike drinks fell for the first time in three months, dipping 5.5 percent to 14.46 million cases. Of total shipments, regular beer accounted for 52.7 percent, happoshu 13.6 percent and third-category drinks 33.7 percent.