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California hit by UK decline

Published:  03 February, 2010

A decline in exports to the UK has contributed to a fall in California wine shipments for the first time in 16 years, according to data published this week in the USA.

Global exports fell by 1.6% to 236 million cases, according to researcher Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates.

The UK ordered 36% less California wine in 2009 than it did the previous year, the figures show. The weak pound made US wines more expensive for UK customers and the recession and duty issues also took their toll.

Nielsen off-trade figures for 2009 show that US wines - dominated by California - remain second only to Australia in terms of off-trade sales.

But volumes fell by 7% to 14.7 million cases, and sales dipped by 4% to £763 million. The take-home wine market generally rose by 3% in volume terms and by 7% in value, according to the data for the 12 months to December 26.