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Weak euro offsets ongoing slide in French wine and spirits exports

Published:  11 February, 2016

The ongoing weakness of the euro in the global currency markets has proved a boon for makers of wine and spirits in France, according to figures released by the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins et Spiritueux de France.

Exports in 2015 grew 8.7% in value to hit some £9.2 billion, the FEVS reported.

That is a turnaround from 2014, when both value and volumes fell back 2.8%.

Export volumes, however, continued their slide in 2015 and were down 3.6% on 2014.

France's share of the international wine market has collapsed by almost 50% in volume since 2000, and by around 30% in value.

The data contained good news for producers of Champagne and cognac, both of which posted strong year-on-year value and volume growth.

Champagne was up 12.1% to £2.1 billion in 2015, with volumes expanding by 4.8%.

Growth of cognac was even stronger, rocketing 19.6% to £2 billion.

Volumes of cognac being exported rose by 9.4%.

There was good news too in exports to China, which were up 23% in value at £653 million and 19% in volume.

France accounts for some 42% of all wine imports into China, and China is France's fourth most important export market by value.

Although the Chinese drinks market contracted sharply in 2013 following a government crack-down on corruption and expense-account entertaining among government officials and the subsequent destocking of imports by distributors, analysts Mintel are predicting steady 5% growth through to the end of the decade.

The US remains France's most significant export market, and sales there were execptionally strong across 2015, rising by 28.1% to hit £2 billion.