BERLIN (AP) -- German beer sales declined anew in the first half of this year as price increases and newly introduced restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants added to a long-term decline, government figures showed Wednesday.
Germany's brewers sold 10.93 billion pints, or 5.17 billion liters, of beer between January and June, the Federal Statistical Office said. That was a decline of 1.7 percent -- 190 million pints, or 90 million liters -- from the first half of last year.
It pointed to the weather -- much of Germany had a poor early summer -- as one factor in the latest decline.
On top of that came higher prices -- a result of rising energy costs and higher prices for hops and malt -- and partial bans on smoking in bars and restaurants that have gradually been taking effect across the country.
Beer consumption in Germany has been falling steadily for over a decade, a trend that experts have attributed to an increasingly health-conscious public.
Sales of beer mixed with soft drinks and fruit juices were unchanged in the first half at 486 million pints, or 230 million liters, the statistical office said.
Wednesday's figures did not include alcohol-free beer or imports from outside the European Union. Of the total sales, 85 percent were within Germany.
Exports to other countries in the 27-nation EU declined by 2.5 percent in the first half, while exports to non-EU countries were down 7.9 percent.