The Japan Saké and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) has released the September numbers for shochu shipments.
Honkaku (single-distilled) barley shochu shipments led the way in September with an official tally of 15,697 kl. This represented a significant improvement over August shipments and a 4.6% jump year over year (YoY). Potato (imo) came in second with 15,253 kl
shipped (a drop of 1.5% YoY), rice shochu was third at 3,198 kl (up 5.9% YoY), and soba was fourth with 1,040 kl shipped (up 8% YoY).
However, the JSS data shows that only potato and soba shochu shipments are ahead of last year’s pace–and only just barely. Potato shipments are ahead of 2013 tallies by 1% through September, and soba is only a tenth of a percent in the black. Honkaku barley and rice shipments are both down more than 2% after nine months of reporting.
Miyazaki Prefecture again won the monthly sales race (10,052 kl) with Kagoshima placing second (9,545 kl). Both prefectures also beat their respective totals from August. Oita (7,737 kl), Fukuoka (3,502 kl), and Kumamoto Prefecture (1,242 kl) also bested their August receipts, but Okinawa shipped slightly less awamori (1,776 kl).
Overall, honkaku shochu shipments were up 2.1% YoY in September, but down 1% for the first three-quarters of the year.
Multiple-distilled (korui) shochu was down 2.2% YoY in September, and 1.9% for the nine months combined.