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Burgundy boom in China

The value of Burgundy sold in China has doubled in a year and by the end of 2011 the region will represent 10% of all of Burgundian export revenues.

When the value of the Japanese market is included then Asia will account for 21% of all revenue. In 2005 Asia counted for only 2% of revenue for the French appellation.

Although Japan remained a mature and important market for Burgundy, a market report from the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) noted that it was now China and Hong Kong that represented the main buying power in the region.

The report stated: “The People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong are constantly increasing their imports of Burgundy.

“These two markets, linked by import flows, are soon to become, within a few months, Burgundy’s sixth largest market in terms of value.”

Singapore and Taiwan had also registered substantial growth, particularly as – like Hong Kong – they act as export platforms to Asia in general.

The report was sure to note the importance of other Asian countries too such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, which, while not having high import volumes, often source their wines from Singapore and Hong Kong instead.

For now Japan remains the third largest market for Burgundy by value (behind the US and UK) with 12.2% of all revenue.

Following the financial difficulties of the past few years that have struck Japan particularly hard – followed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the spring – it is incredible to see how quickly the market has recovered.

In the first seven months of the year, exports to Japan rose 8% by volume and over 15% by value to €76.5 million.

Meanwhile, in China exports have doubled to 1.7m bottles a year worth €25.4m. The US retains its title as the highest value market for Burgundy followed by the UK, which remains the largest export market by volume.

Export markets in North America and Asia have fared much better in the first eight months of this year than their European counterparts.

Exports to the UK and Belgium – the biggest markets in Europe – fell 13% and 16% respectively by volume and 6% and 13% by value on the same period last year.

The US however rose 25% by volume and 39% by value in the same period, Hong Kong rose 49% by volume and 109% by value, Taiwan 115% by volume, 124% by value and China 81% by volume and 103% by value.

Canada is also growing as an important market in North America. Last year export revenues grew by 50% and are now worth €37.7m. This trend continued in the first half of this year when value increased by 40%.

Overall exports have risen 0.4% by volume in the first eight months of this year but, more importantly, 17.8% by value.

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