Figures just released by the The Champagne Bureau (CIVC) show that global Champagne shipments have fallen for the second consecutive year.
Champagne shipped 304 million bottles in 2013, 1.5% down on 2012
The total number of bottles shipped in 2013 has dropped by five million, following a 14.2m decline in 2012, according to statistics sent to the drinks business this afternoon.
With 304m bottles sold worldwide in the last 12 months, shipments were 1.5% down on 2012, when just under 309m bottles were distributed globally, which represented a 4.4% drop on 2011, when the region sold almost 323m bottles.
However, it was back in 2007 that Champagne enjoyed its record year, selling as many as 338.7m bottles in 12 months.
In 2013 – like 2012 – it was recessionary Europe that dragged the figures downwards, above all France where over 50% of all Champagne is sold.
France saw a 2.3% drop in sales, down to 167m bottles from 171.4m bottles in 2012, meaning that a significant proportion of the global sales decline can be attributed to demand in this single country.
Meanwhile shipments within the EU as a whole fell by 3.4% to 74 million bottles, having achieved sales of 76.4m in 2012.
In contrast, shipments to markets outside the EU continued to climb, and increased by 3.2% to 63m bottles, growing at the same rate as 2012, when sales also rose 3.2%, taking the total in that year to 61m.
In terms of timing, 15% of Champagne’s volume sales occurred in December, with 42m bottles shipped in that single month, representing an 8% increase on sales in December 2012.
Notably, 2013’s shipment volumes matched exactly the 304m bottles produced from the 2013 vintage after the CIVC reacted to falling shipments by lowering the maximum permitted yield for the harvest to 10,000kg per hectare.
The CIVC also released information to show that Champagne’s turnover was down slightly, with sales worth €4.3 billion compared to 2012’s €4.37bn total.
Falling sales of Champagne in Europe goes some way to explaining the extremely attractive offers identified by db in French and UK supermarkets over the Christmas period.