Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

French wine exports to the UK fall 10% by value in 2014

Published:  13 February, 2015

France's wine exports to the UK have fallen 10% by value in 2014, although British consumers still take in 12.2% of their neighbour's wines, making it the second biggest export market for France.

The US put in a strong performance at the head of the leader board, with sales up 4% to just over €2 billion. The UK value figure hit €1.3 billion, with volumes also down 6%, while Germany was the third biggest market, with sales to the Germans up 6.2% by value, according to wine and spirits export body FEVS. 

In 2014, the top 10 export countries accounted for three quarters of sales. China's anti-gifting policy hit high value wines the hardest, as exports there fell by 17%, although volumes dipped by a mere 2%. The fall in the UK market can be partially attributed to the drop off in demand from China - as it traditionally acts as an intermediary for Chinese sales.

2014 marked the third best performance for exports of wines and spirits from France, despite a 2.8% decline in revenues to €10.8 billion.

Weak availability of wine in many regions, thanks to the poor harvest, affected the performance of some wines. Wine exports were down €127 million on the previous year. Bordeaux sales fell by 17% for the 2013/14 year, while Languedoc Roussillon sales received a 10% uplift by value.

Christophe Navarre, president of wine exporter federation FEVS, said 2014 showed how well-equipped the French wine industry was at adapting to a constantly changing business environment. But he warned that the results also showed up weaknesses: "Our companies are now caught in the crossfire between a structural deficit of availability of products, particularly in the wine sector , and the ability of our competitors to provide the consumer with the best quality/price ratio products."

He said industry and government should collectively work on how to develop production potential, break down trade barriers and improve the image of some products.