Shipments of beer and happoshu fell last month, according to figures released yesterday.

Combined shipments by Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory and Orion breweries fell last month by 4.7% to 39.23m cases. It is the third consecutive year-on-year decrease.

While beer shipments dropped by only 0.4% year-on-year to 23.09m cases, happoshu shipments also dropped, by 10% to 16.08m cases.

Only Asahi saw happoshu shipments increase in March, with a rise of 15.7%, after launching new products. Combined shipments of beer and happoshu at the company grew by 7%.

In February this year, beer shipments recorded their first year-on-year rise in 47 months.