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French wines weaken on fine-wine market

Published:  01 April, 2020

France’s premier wine regions continue to weaken on the fine-wine market, according to the first-quarter 2020 trading data released this morning by Liv-ex.

Wines from Bordeaux have hit a record low market share of 50.5%, while Burgundy has fallen from 19.9% in 2019 to an average of 17.2% this year. The Burgundy 150 index, which tracks price performance, is also down 2.5%.

Trading has been hit both by the US imposition of 25% tariffs on French wine imports and the coronavirus (Covid-19), which has had a significant impact on demand in Asia, traditionally a key tarding market for French fine wine.

Within Bordeaux, the most actively traded vintages have been 2009 (15%), 2010 (12%) and 2016 (11%).

Italian wines, which are exempt from the tariffs, have been the key beneficiary of France’s decline, with average market share by value up from 9% last year to 13% for the year to date.

Trade share among wines from the Rest of the World have also doubled, led by US wines, which have accounted for 5.3% of trades. Trading has been particularly active among Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons such as Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate.

In February, Liv-ex revealed Bordeaux’s share of trade had fallen to a record low with sales hit by Coronavirus and US tariffs uncertainty.