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Champagne exports near ‘peak’ of 2007

Champagne exports last year reached their second highest volume in five years – with sales close to the peak of 2007.

Champagne: close to ‘peak’ sales

Exports in 2011 were up by 5.1%, rising to a total of 141.2m bottles, the second largest volume ever achieved behind 2007 and only 9.5m bottles less than this peak, according to the latest statistics just released by Champagne’s governing body the CIVC.

However because of a slight downturn in domestic sales in France, where the market weakened particularly towards the end of the year, total sales figures rose by only just over 1%, to 322.97m bottles.

The best performers in the emerging markets were Russia (up 24.5%), China (up 19.4%), and Hong Kong (up 15.1%) – but the rate of growth slowed in the second half of 2011; these three markets between them still only account for 4.1m bottles.

Growth was higher still in India at 58.7% but total shipments to this potentially large market still only reached 290,286 bottles.

The only two markets not to grow were Spain, which was fractionally down, and Britain, where the volume fell by 2.7% to 34.4m bottles.

Shipments to Belgium and Germany both rose by 8.5%, the best results achieved within Europe.

Shipments to the USA recovered well, rising by 14.4% to 19.4m bottles – still short of the historic peak of 23.2m bottles in 2006.

Shipments to Australia rose by close on a third to 4.86m bottles.

Michel Letter, head of G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouët, said, ‘2011 was the third best year ever after 1999 and 2007 with total shipments reaching 323m bottles, not bad considering the worldwide economic situation.’

Letter also said that re-ordering in early in 2012 confirmed there is little unsold stock.

Written by Giles Fallowfield

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