October's slight lift in beer category shipments from Japan's brewers was halted last month, according to the industry's latest figures.

Shipments of beer and beer-like beverages in November registered a year-on-year dip of 1.1%, industry data showed today (12 December). The slide was driven by a marked fall in 'happoshu' shipments. While total shipments for the month registered 39.3m cases - a case containing the equivalent of 20 633ml bottles - 'happoshu' shipments dropped by 9.8% to 9m cases. Local reports have blamed the lack of new product launches in the category for the fall.

While beer shipments dropped by 1.2% to 22.1m cases, shipments of third-category beer - which has little or no malt content - leapt by 10.8% on November 2006, to 8.1m cases.

Jiji Press reported that, while Kirin Brewery and Suntory performed well in the month, Sapporo Breweries and Asahi Breweries posted shipment falls.

In October, total shipments rose by 0.8%, driven by the arrival of new brands from both Kirin and Asahi in the third-category sector.