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Champagne limits yields to 315m bottles in 2018

The region of Champagne has set the available yield from this year’s harvest at 10,800kg/ha, which will produce the equivalent of approximately 315m bottles.

Champagne is set to produce an early and large harvest, although yields have been set to limit production to the equivalent of 315m bottles

The quantity of wine expected to be made from the 2018 vintage is a little more than 7m bottles greater than the global demand for Champagne last year: shipments worldwide (including France) totaled 307.3m bottles in 2017.

The Comité Champagne said that the yield, which was set at the same level as both 2017 and 2016 (see table below), had been selected due to an expected increase in demand for the French fizz in export markets – rather than the domestic market, which is in gradual decline, and currently accounts for 50% of volume sales.

The regulatory body also said that this year’s vintage – unlike 2017’s harvest* – was likely to be large, suggesting that it would produce much higher quantities of grapes per hectare than the limit would allow to be turned into Champagne.

It is also expected to be an early harvest, due to unusually hot and dry conditions since June, with a forecast start date for the 2018 vintage of 25 August, making it the fifth time this century that picking has begun in Champagne in August (see figures below).

With the total marketable yield for Champagne remaining the same as 2016 and 17, it is clear that the region is attempting to prevent an oversupply of Champagne, and this year’s limit continues a trend of keeping supply below 11,000kg/ha since 2013, when total yields were set at 10,500kg/ha (lower than the 11,000kg/ha total set in 2012, which in turn marked a 12% decrease on 2011) – again, see figures below.

As noted above, a yield of 10,800kg/ha translates into roughly 315 million bottles, a level of annual sales not surpassed since 2011, when 323m bottles were shipped (see below).

*Although the limit of 10,800kg/ha was set for last year’s harvest, due to adverse weather conditions, the average yield reached in Champagne for 2017 was only 9,500 kg/ha.

Please scroll down to view the yields, shipments, harvest dates and grape prices for this decade, compiled by the drinks business:

Champagne yields set by the Comité Champagne since 2010

2018: 10,800kg/ha
2017: 10,800kg/ha (10,300kg/ha + 500kg/ha from the reserve)
2016: 10,800kg/ha (9,700kg/ha + 1100kg/ha from the reserve)
2015: 10,600kg/ha (10,100kg/ha + 500kg/ha from the reserve)
2014: 10,500kg/ha (10,100kg/ha + 400kg/ha from the reserve)
2013: 10,500kg/ha (10,000kg/ha + 500kg/ha from the reserve)
2012: 11,000kg/ha (10,500kg/ha + 500kg/ha from the reserve)
2011: 12,500kg/ha (10,500 kg/ha + 2,000kg/ha from the reserve)
2010: 10,500kg/ha

Champagne shipments by volume since 2010

2017: 307.3m bottles
2016: 306m bottles
2015: 313m bottles
2014: 307m bottles
2013: 305m bottles
2012: 309m bottles
2011: 323m bottles
2010: 319m bottles

Champagne shipments by value since 2010

2017: €4.900bn
2016: €4.710bn
2015: €4.737bn
2014: €4.400bn
2013: €4.365bn
2012: €4.382bn
2011: €4.408bn
2010: €3.728

Harvest start dates since 2010*

2018 (projected): 25 August
2017: 26 August
2016: 12 September
2015: 02 September
2014: 08 September
2013: 24 September
2012: 10 September
2011: 19 August
2010: 13 September
*2007: 23 August
*2003: 25 August

*Further August start dates for Champagne this century

Champagne grape prices on average (€ per kilo) since 2010

2017: 6.00
2016: 5.90
2015: 5.89
2014: 5.89
2013: 5.80
2012: 5.73
2011: 5.60
2010: 5.36

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