Honkaku potato shochu shipments retook the lead in October after falling behind barley shochu shipments in September. The 19,696 kl of potato shochu shipped represented a 8.3% jump year over year (YoY) when compared to October 2013. Barley shochu was second with 17,236 kl shipped (up 1.9% YoY), rice shochu was third with 3,648 kl (down 3.7% YoY), and soba shochu was fourth at 628 kl (down 8.6% YoY).
Like potato, kasutori shochu (made from nihonshu lees) had a good month with 44 kl shipped (up 5.8% YoY). The “other” category, which includes brown sugar, sesame, and all other honkaku shochu varieties, showed a 2.1% improvement in shipments with 1,047 kl distributed in September.
Miyazaki Prefecture led the way with a hug month of shipments. The 11,539 kl shipped was a 16.6% leap over the same period last year. This helped offset Kagoshima Prefecture’s slow month of 11,457 kl (down 4.7% YoY). Oita and Fukuoka Prefectures shipped 9,238 and 4,054 kl, respectively (up 7.5% and 4.6% YoY). Meanwhile, Okinawa and Kumamoto Prefectures also reported slow months with 1,948 and 1,430 kl of shipments, respectively (down 4.7% and 5% YoY).
Overall, honkaku shochu shipments were down 0.4% during the first ten months of 2014 when compared with the same period in 2013 (369,443 kl total). This is an improvement when compared to September’s numbers when the industry was a full percentage point behind 2013.
Multiple-distilled (korui) shochu shipments were in the black for the first time since March at 30,374 kl (up 5.6% YoY). Korui is still down 1.1% through the first 10 months of the year, however.