August Beer Imports Sink 6%; YTD Down 0.3% Total, Up 2.6% for Mexican Imports

Total imported shipments for August 2023 are 3.5 million barrels, down 5.9% compared to August 2022, the Beer Institute said.

But Danelle Kosmal, chief economist, notes that "2023 has been a year of regular fluctuations in imported shipments, with strong declines one month and significant increases the next," so the "most realistic way to look at imported performance for this year is year-to-date, which is down 0.3% for total imports and up 2.6% for Mexican imports."

July 2023 "imports were 3.9 million barrels – the strongest month of shipments ever recorded by BI. So it is likely that there was still a lot of beer on hand from July shipments, and therefore, brewers held back some on August shipments," she said. Plus the extreme weather conditions in July – from some of the hottest temperatures on record, to hurricanes, fires – likely impacted the movement and consumption of beer for July and leading into August."

The U.S. wasn't alone in seeing declines in August 2023; so did Mexico (-4.0%), Netherlands (-18.6%), Ireland (-14.2%) and Germany (-21.6%).

Growth countries included Canada (+0.4%), Italy (+62%), and Belgium (+43%).

Non-alcoholic imports grew by 33.9% compared to August 2022 and 24.5% YTD compared to the same months last year. The most significant contributor to NA imported growth came from Mexico and the Netherlands, with the launch of Corona NA and the continued growth of Heineken 0.0 driving both trends.

Across imported packaging formats, cans are up 10.4% in volume growth and 3.6 points in share for YTD, while bottles and draft are both down in volume (-5.9% and -3.3%, respectively) and share (-3.4 points and -0.2 share points, respectively), Kosmal said..