• Kyodo

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Total shipments of beer and beerlike drinks grew 5.3 percent from a year earlier to 36.1 million cases in October, logging the first monthly rise in two months, reports from the five major brewers showed Monday.

The first year-to-year increase for October in four years was attributable to warm weather in the first half of the month, data showed. Better than expected sales of seasonal products and health-conscious beverages also contributed to the increase.

Shipments of regular beer grew 7.6 percent to 17.8 million cases, and those of relatively inexpensive third-category beer increased 5.6 percent to a little more than 13 million cases. Shipments of “happoshu” low-malt beer fell 2.5 percent to 5.2 million cases.

Of total shipments, regular beer accounted for 49.4 percent, followed by third-category beer at 36 percent and happoshu at 14.6 percent.

The five brewers are Asahi Breweries Ltd., Kirin Brewery Co., Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Suntory Liquors Ltd. and Orion Breweries Ltd.

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