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Global Champagne shipments approach record levels

Champagne shipments are forecast to hit almost 330 million bottles for 2011.

According to the Union of Champagne Houses (UMC), the total for this year may reach 329m bottles, up just over 3% on 2010, when shipments totalled 319m.

The prediction is not far from 2007’s record year, when 338.7m bottles were sold.

According to data published in October 2011 by the Comité Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), shipments of Champagne within France showed 3% growth.

However, exports showed the most significant increases, with European Union sales rising by 4.2%, and the rest of the world by 13.4%.

The UK, the US, Germany and Belgium remain the highest importing countries, but Russia, Brazil and China recorded the best results among the emerging market economies.

The results support the assertion by Pierre-Emmanual Taittinger, when addressing the Institute of Masters of Wine earlier this month.

As reported by the drinks business, he said Champagne was entering “a great phase”, speaking of a new demand from emerging markets. “Half of the world were not Champagne consumers before, and 90% of Champagne was drunk in Europe and the US, but now China, Japan, Russia and South America are becoming a vast market,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Steve Charters MW, professor of Champagne Management at Reims Management School said, “Since the global financial crisis of 2008-9, the Champagne business has shown signs of making its way back to the success of pre-crisis years.”

“The growth has been steady but encouraging,” he continued.

“However, the renewed uncertainty around the Eurozone and the general international economic outlook continues to be a cause for concern, given that Champagne sales are directly linked to the health of the international economy.”

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