The Japanese market for happoshu, the low malt beer, leapt 31.5% in July compared to a year earlier, the country's major brewers announced today.

Shipments of Happoshu had declined in June but good weather in July sparked a reversal of fortunes. Shipments of happoshu, similar to beer in taste and appearance but taxed at a lower rate due to its low malt content, rose to 235,211 kilolitres (kl) in July from 178,929 kl a year earlier, according to industry data.

The 0.5 percent dip in shipments in June marked the first year-on-year decline in happoshu shipments since 1996.

Industry analysts said the recovery in July will help allay concerns about falling demand for what has been a fast-growing segment of Japan's beer market.