Japan's Beer Shipments Increase

Total shipments of beer and beer-like drinks in Japan increased 0.8 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier to 86.22 million cases, the first rise in five years for the three-month period, an industry group said Wednesday.

TOKYO, April 11 (Kyodo) — Total shipments of beer and beer-like drinks in Japan increased 0.8 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier to 86.22 million cases, the first rise in five years for the three-month period, an industry group said Wednesday.

The increase represented a recovery of sorts from a steep fall in shipments following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which gutted plants and forced some to stop operations due to rolling blackouts stemming from electricity shortages.

The increase is partly attributable to the launch of some new products and revamped product lines, according to the Brewers Association of Japan, which groups five major beer companies in the country.

In the quarter, Asahi Breweries Ltd. captured a leading share of 36.7 percent, followed by Kirin Brewery Co. at 36.0 percent and Suntory Holdings Ltd. at 15.1 percent and Sapporo Breweries Ltd. at 11.4 percent.

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