Beer shipments up 2.8% in August

Kyodo

Total shipments of beer and beerlike drinks grew 2.8 percent in August from a year earlier to 42.12 million cases, according to reports by the five major brewers.

The first year-to-year rise for August in five years was attributed to fine summer weather nationwide as well as brisk sales of limited-time products for the fall, the brewers’ data showed.

Sales remained modest in the first half of the month as many people refrained from dining out during the London Olympics, which ran through Aug. 12, but things began growing, especially on demand from corporate customers, officials in the industry said.

Shipments of regular beer grew 3.6 percent to 22.03 million cases, and those of relatively inexpensive third-category beer rose 4.9 percent to 14.34 million cases. Shipments of “happoshu” low-malt beer fell 4.9 percent to 5.75 million cases.

Of total shipments, regular beer accounted for 52.3 percent, followed by third-category beer at 34.0 percent and happoshu at 13.7 percent.