USA: Beer shipments drop 6.6% in May
U.S. brewers shipments in May declined 6.6%, to 14.2 million barrels, a loss of 1 million barrels compared to May 2019, according to the Beer Institute (BI), which shared unofficial estimates of domestic tax paid shipments compiled by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Brewbound reported.
However, the BI offered a caveat with this months report, noting that the trade group anticipates significant revisions to March, April and May 2020 shipment numbers, as the TTB has postponed reporting requirements for filing and payment due dates for up to 90 days.
Nevertheless, the BI now estimates that shipments have declined every month thus far in 2020, year-to-date shipments down 2.8%, or nearly 1.9 million barrels. Through the first five months of 2020, U.S. beer companies have shipped an estimated 65,764,000 barrels.
Mays 1 million-barrel decline is now the steepest of 2020, topping Aprils 700,000-barrel decline. The growing dip in shipments in April and May coincides with the shutdown of bars, restaurants and taprooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Off-premise beer sales have spiked during the shutdown, with dollar sales up nearly 18%, to around $18.9 billion year-to-date through June 14 in multi-outlet and convenience stores tracked by market research firm IRI.
In other BI/TTB news related to the pandemic, the waiver of a requirement that brewers and beer importers submit a notice to the federal agency in order to destroy out-of-code beer in the marketplace has been extended through September 1. The waiver was initially set to expire on July 1.
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