Shipments of beer and happoshu made by Japan's top five brewers rose last month, according to figures released this week. The Brewers Association of Japan and its sister low-malt liquor association said that shipments for July increased by 8.95% to 682,540 kilolitres.

The volume of beer shipped in July increased by 10.4% year-on-year to 422,520 kilolitres, the first double-digit increase since January 1998, thanks to a hot summer, the association said. Shipments of low-malt liquor in July rose by 6.4% year-on-year to 240,020 kilolitres.

In the seven months from January to July, shipments of beer and happoshu fell by 3.8% year-on-year to 3.52m kilolitres, the associations said. Beer shipments fell by 0.8% year-on-year to about 2.16m kilolitres, while shipments of happoshu for the seven-month period fell by 8.1% year-on-year to 1.36m kilolitres.

The five brewers are Kirin Brewery Co Ltd, Asahi Breweries Ltd, Sapporo Breweries Ltd, Suntory Ltd and Orion Beer Co Ltd.