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French wine exports dip on small 2012 harvest

Exports of French wine dipped in volume terms and stagnated in value in the first half of 2013, official figures show.

Small harvests in many regions across France in 2012 played a large part in export volumes slipping by 1.7% for the six months to the end of June, versus the same period of last year. France exported 70.5m cases of wine during the half-year.

‘We can’t sell what we don’t have in our cellars,’ said Louis Fabrice Latour, president of the French Wine & Spirits Export Federation (FEVS), which published the figures.

‘We can only hope that the small 2012 harvest does not damage us in the eyes of our clients, especially in a global climate that remains depressed.’

However, the 2013 harvest could compound producers’ problems if industry leaders are proved correct in predicting that France will see its lowest grape haul in 40 years.

Still, in value terms, French wine exports crept up by 0.3% for the half-year to the end of June, to EUR3.5bn, said FEVS. The group highlighted Alsace, Languedoc-Roussillon and Cotes du Rhone as top performers.

Separate figures for Burgundy, provided by that region’s wine trade body, BIBV, show that wine exports from the region rose by 3.2% in volume over the same period, as the US, Australia, China, Russia and Sweden helped to offset declines in the UK and Japan.

However, Burgundy exports dipped by 0.3% in value, largely as a result of exchange rate swings, a BIVB spokeperson told decanter.com.

Written by Chris Mercer

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