Champagne shipments have remained steady in 2017, with higher demand beyond the EU making up for fewer bottles being drunk domestically, show new figures.

  • Champagne shipments up by just 0.4% in 2017, driven by non-EU exports

  • Record value of 4.9 billion euros

According to figures from the Comité Champagne, total Champagne sales in 2017 were 307.3 million bottles, just beating sales for 2016 by 0.4%.

This is despite a fall of 2.5% in France, where 153.7 million bottles of Champagne were sold by houses and growers in 2017.

‘[It was] a steeper drop than expected due to a disappointing month of December,’ said Maxime Toubart, president of the Syndicat Général des Vignerons (SGV) and co-president of Comité Champagne.

The amount of Champagne exported is now almost level with that sold on the French market. Exports  reached 153.6 million bottles in 2017, growing 3.5%.

Most of the growth was from outside the EU, which dropped 1.3% in volume. Non-EU markets grew by 9%, up to 77 million bottles.

More detailed figures will be released in the next few weeks, the Comité Champagne said.

‘Thanks to export and the value creation, Champagne achieved a record turnover of 4.9 billion euros,’ said Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne (UMC) and co-president of Comité Champagne.

UK sparkling wine growth

In the UK market, sparkling wine is predicted to grow by 2021, despite consumption of still wines predicted to drop, according to data from VINEXPO/ IWSR released last week.

However, most growth is expected to be from Italian sparkling wine imports, which are predicted to rise by 5.4% in volume by 2021, and believed to be fuelled by the continuing boom for Prosecco.

Imports of French sparkling wines in the UK, including Champagne and Crémant, are expected to drop in this time, by 1.4%.

From 2012 to 2017, sparkling wine sales in the UK grew 76%, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.