• Kyodo

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Total shipments of beer and beerlike drinks dived 8.6 percent in May from a year earlier to 32.58 million cases, a record low for the month, data by five major brewers showed Friday.The number also signified the first fall in two months.

Brewers blamed the drop on this year’s earlier than usual rainy season and the continuing trend of consumers eating out less following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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