A late Christmas surge in consumer demand failed to prevent global Champagne sales dropping by 1.5% last year versus 2012, to 304m bottles, new figures show.

Weaker demand in Europe was the main reason for the dip, which follows a drop of around 4% in volume in 2012.

Value sales in 2013 fell by around 2% to €4.3bn, but this still represented the fifth highest annual total on record, Champagne Council CIVC said.

The drop in worldwide volume sales came in spite of a rally in December, traditionally a strong period for Champagne. During the final month of the year, global volumes rose by 8% on the same period of 2012.

Over 2013 as a whole, Champagne sales to countries beyond the European Union rose by 3.2% to 63m bottles. Volumes dropped by 2.3% in France, to 167m bottles.

Written by Chris Mercer