Japan’s beer exports drop in Q1

Japanese exports for beer and a ‘quasi-beer’ beverages have dropped 0.7% in the first quarter of the year to 80.148 million cases compared with the same period in 2016, a record low for the quarter for the third consecutive year.

According to data from major Japanese brewers, beer shipments dropped 1.3% to 38.838 million cases, while shipments for ‘happoshu’, a low-malt quasi-beer beverage, decreased 0.8% to 11.6 million cases, reported Japan’s Jiji Press. One case equals 20 633ml bottles.

Shipments of the third category of beer, ‘hodgepodge’, which is priced lower than beer and ‘happoshu’, increased by 0.2% to 29.709 million cases, the first rise recorded in three years, the report said. Asahi Breweries Ltd’s Clear Asahi led the exports in this category.

The decreases seen in the first two categories are attributed to Japanese consumers’ growing preference for ‘chuhai’ spirits-based drinks and wine, the report explained, which reflects consumers’ “diversified preference and budget mindedness”.

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