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Germany

Lowest German beer sales since country's unification

Fresh statistical data has shown that sales of German beer have reached their lowest level since the country united back in 1990. Non-alcoholic beer has not been included in the equation.

Throughout 2012, German breweries sold a total of 96.5 million hectoliters (2.55 billion US gallons) of beer to customers at home and abroad, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Wednesday.

It said sales declined by 1.8 percent year-on-year, marking a drop of 1.8 million hectoliters. Not included in the statistics was non-alcoholic beer and malt beer.

Destatis said German breweries thus sold less in 2012 than in all previous years since German unification in 1990.

Stable home market

Beer mixed with fruit juices, soda or coke accounted for just 4.5 percent of annual sales in 2012.

Of all the beer leaving German breweries, 83.9 percent was consumed domestically, 2.1 percent less than in 2011. While exports to other European nations fell by 2 percent last year, overseas shipments saw a 4.6-percent surge.

Like in the previous years, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria were the two German states where most beer was consumed in absolute figures.

hg/hc (dpa, dapd)