Suntory's Chinese beer capacity to rocket

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TOKYO -- Japanese brewing giant Suntory Ltd. intends to raise annual beer production in China to 40 million cases (500,000 kilo-liters) in China by 2000, or nearly seven times current production levels there. The Chinese target is comparable to Suntory's current Japanese production of 37 million cases.

Suntory estimates that the total demand for beer in Jiangsu and Shanghai will reach 140 million cases by 2000, of which the company aims to hold a 30% share. The Chinese beer market is already the largest after the U.S.

During 1995 the Japanese beer market declined 5% from the previous year, while the Chinese market grew 10%.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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