Combined shipments of beer, happoshu and so-called 'third-beer' in Japan were flat last month, according to recent figures.

The total increase - of 0.6% year-on-year - for combined shipments was credited to the hot weather. August was also the first time in three months that combined shipments halted their slide.

Shipments of third-category beer - a carbonated beer-tasting alcoholic drink made without malt, wheat or barley - helped lift the entire category in August, posting a 12.6% year-on-year climb, the first such increase in four months. Beer shipments fell by 0.8%, while happoshu fell more dramatically, by 3.8% on the corresponding period a year earlier.

The figures, released today (12 September), were based on a survey of Japan's five main brewers, Kirin, Suntory, Asahi, Sapporo and Orion.