Bordeaux wine exports fell by nearly 25% in the first three quarters of last year according to figures published yesterday.
In the first nine months of 2004 exports overall dropped 12% in volume and 24% in value. These figures, released through the Bordeaux trade body, the CIVB, from UbiFrance, an export agency, are set against results over the same period in 2003.
Apart from Belgium, where exports rose by around 3%, the main markets, which include Germany, the UK and the US, show a significant downward trend.
Exports to the UK dropped by one third in value and by 22% in volume.
The US market also shows signs of freefall, with volume down 34% and value down 58%.
Bordeaux exports to Russia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan grew strongly, posting increases of between 34% and 50% in volume. Exports to Japan also rose by 7%. These countries are not, however, considered the main overseas markets for Bordeaux.
The reasons for the overall drop, according to the CIVB, are numerous. Aside from increased New World competition, other factors include an unfavourable dollar-euro exchange rate and a particularly strong export year in 2003, when the much-vaunted 2000 vintage was released.
Written by Oliver Styles, and agencies