Shipments of beer decline 2.4%

Kyodo News

Domestic shipments of beer and beerlike drinks in the first nine months of this year dropped 2.4 percent from a year earlier to 345.25 million cases due to unseasonably cool summer weather, according to industry reports released Tuesday.

It was the lowest total since officials began compiling comparable data in 1992.

Among major brewers, Kirin Brewery Co. captured market leadership with a 37.9 percent share in the nine-month period, overtaking Asahi Breweries Ltd. for the first time in three years.

Asahi’s market share was the second largest, at 37.3 percent, followed by Suntory Holdings Ltd. at 12.4 percent.