Poor weather has dealt Japanese brewers a harsh blow between July and September. In a period usually known for strong demand, domestic beer shipments registered their lowest levels since comparable figures became available in 1992.

According to local reports, figures from the country's five leading brewers showed domestic beer shipments in the period fell 3.2% from a year earlier to 137.62m cases.

Reports said a high level of rainy days combined with an anti-drink-driving campaign hit demand.

In the nine-month period to September, shipments fell a less dramatic 0.6% year on year to 368.28m cases. However, it still marked a record low for the first nine-months.

In the nine-month period Kirin Brewery overtook Asahi as the nation's leading brewer with a 38% share of the market. Asahi claimed 37.3%.

In September, shipments of "third beer" continued to rise, up 10.8% to 8.86m cases. This was offset though by an 8.5% fall in regular beer to 20.95m cases, and a 7.8% fall in low-malt brews to 11.14m cases.