Beer and quasi-beer shipments in Japan dropped 5% from a year before to 38,110,000 cases in April, declining for the second straight month, industry data showed Friday. The decline seems to stem from price hikes by Sapporo Breweries Ltd and Suntory Ltd in April following markups by Kirin Brewery Co in February and Asahi Breweries Ltd in March.
By category, shipments of beer decreased 11.3% to 19,405,000 cases, incurring a double-digit fall for the second consecutive month. Shipments of "happoshu" low-malt beer-like beverages decreased 2.5% to 10,016,000 cases, down for the third straight month.
Meanwhile, shipments of so-called third-segment alcoholic beverages, which have little or no malt content, grew 9.3% to 8,689,000 cases, rising for the second month in a row, on the back of consumer demand for cheaper products.
By maker, shipments by Kirin, which raised prices ahead of rivals, rose for the first time in three months.
But Asahi and Sapporo posted drops after seeing a last-minute demand surge before their price hikes.
Suntory enjoyed growth in shipments as the company implemented price hikes only for a limited range of products and its third-segment product "Kinmugi" sold well.© JCN