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French exports pick up in 2007

The value of French wine and spirits exports reached over €9bn in 2007.

The first 10 months of sales showed exports valued at between €9.2bn and €9.5bn, up 9% from 2006, according to Philippe Casteja, the head of the FEVS (Federation des Exportateurs des Vins et Spiritueux).

The full results for 2007 will not be finalised until February 2008.

Cognac and Champagne are leading the boom, but still wines also delivered strong results, according to the FEVS.

The last year has seen France export an additional 9m bottles of Champagne, 12m bottles of Cognac and 67m bottles of still wine.

‘This is the result of a number of years’ work that is finally seeing results,’ Casteja told decanter.com. ‘After a few difficult years when still wines in particular suffered, producers have worked the market, and a number of consumers have responded by coming back to lighter, fresher wines.’

Cognac sales are up 16.9% in value from 2006 and Champagne 14.5%, with the United States and Britain the biggest buyers, followed by Germany, Belgium and Japan.

China, which ranked number 15 on the list of top markets for French wines and spirits, for the first time moves up into the top ten, certainly when counted with Hong Kong.

‘2008 may be more difficult,’ Casteja said, ‘with the strength of the euro and the wider global economic difficulties, but we are enormously encouraged.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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