Worldwide Champagne shipments fell by nearly 10% in 2009, according to new figures.
Statistics released by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) show that a total of 293m bottles of Champagne were shipped in 2009.
This is down 29.64m bottles (9.1%) on the 322.64m bottles shipped in 2008.
Shipments outside Europe, principally USA and Japan, fell 25.1% from 55.75m to 41.76m bottles.
Within Europe, shipments dropped by 15m bottles.
The UK, Italy and Spain were the worst affected markets.
‘What is significant is that actual consumption has been above the level of shipments,’ said Ghislain de Montgolfier president of the UMC (Union des Maisons de Champagne).
Shipments by the main UMC houses dropped 9.7% but grew on the French domestic market by 4.6%.
Outside Europe, the houses’ shipments were down 26%, with shipments to European markets other than France were down 16.6%.
Pernod Ricard, the fourth largest group in Champagne, recently reported a 5% decline in volume and 3% fall in value over its 15 brands in the six months to December 31, 2009.
Its Champagne brands Mumm and Perrier-Jouët both fell by 11% and 16% respectively.
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Written by Giles Fallowfield