Imports Hanging in There

The Beer Institute's Lester Brown reports yesterday afternoon that imported beer shipments were virtually flat in March, down 0.5%, which brings year-to-date import shipments up 7.2%. Remember, these are shipments which are subject to supply chain inventory vagaries, as seen most vigorously with January shipments which were up big time, way ahead of STRs. But still, having first quarter import shipments up 7% is a good sign for the segment. Combine that with known domestic shipments, and the beer industry is still down nearly 4% for the year. We're seeing a reversal of import versus domestic shipments, which can be partially explained by the inverted easy comparisons each is running against, and partially by the fact that domestics took a big price increase last year while the big importers sat that one out.

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