France: exports plummet
- Wednesday 27 October 2004
According to the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS) exports, not including sparkling wines and champagnes, fell 5.6% in volume and 9.6% in value between January and August this year, compared with the same period in 2003.
Bordeaux suffered most, with exports falling 10.4% in volume and 25.4% in value. Burgundy bucked the trend: figures (excluding the Beaujolais) show an increase of 11.% in value – and a drop of 3.6% in volume.
Champagne showed a growth of 10.3% in value and 7% in volume.
The figures are stark compared with New World (USA, Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand) wines.
Between 1998 and 2003, French exports of 12-bottle cases of wine fell by 12%, from 168m to 148m.
In the same period, New World wine producers saw their exports of 12-bottle cases soar by 161%, from 88m to 161m.
FEVS says the figures for Bordeaux have to be seen in the context of the extraordinary success of the 2000 vintage for the classed-growth chateaux.
In 2003, exports of the 2000 vintage showed an increase of 2.3% in value, but this masked a drop 12.6% in volume for exports to the United States.
The crisis in the French wine sector is exacerbated by the excellent 2004 vintage, which at 58.9m is 25% higher than the (admittedly low) 2003 harvest.