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Recovery of Cognac continues as exports reach record high

Exports of Cognac have grown for a fourth consecutive year, rising by 5.4% in value and 8.2% in volume – the equivalent of 205.9 million bottles – setting a record for the most bottles exported within a 12 month period.

In the 12 months from 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018, by value the turnover from Cognac exports reached €3.2 billion, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total value of exported French wines.

Of a total 205 million bottles, 89.8 million bottles were shipped to the NAFTA zone (Canada, the United States and Mexico), representing a 9.4% rise in volume and 0.2% in value, securing its ninth consecutive year of growth.

The US is overwhelmingly driving demand in this region, accounting for 86.5 million bottles.

“The dark spirits category is growing in the US market, encouraged by the historical presence of cognac and the constant investments of the cognac houses,” said Patrick Raguenaud, president of the Bureau National Interprofessional
du Cognac (BNIC). “This is ensuring that shipments towards the US continue to grow year on year.”

Over the same period, shipments to the Far East (South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Japan) reached 60.9 million bottles, representing an increase of 13.5% in volume and 12.4% in value. China led this growth with nearly 26.2 million bottles shipped to the country during the 12 month campaign.

“These strong results confirm the lasting appetite of the Chinese for Cognac, even as the market is still stabilising,” noted Raguenaud.

Shipments to Europe remained stable, declining 2% in volume and rising by 3% in value, with total shipments reaching 41.3 million bottles.

“Particularly in the United Kingdom, the largest European market, shipments remain stable, despite the Brexit context,” said Raguenaud.

Emerging markets include South Africa, Vietnam, Oceania, the Caribbean, which achieved an increase of 12.2% in volume and 5.3% in value. Together, these new areas of opportunity represent more than 6.7% of global volumes shipped, or nearly 13.9 million bottles.

By style, the VS and VSOP categories represented 50% of the total volume of exports. According to Raguenaud: “The good momentum we are experiencing today across the three qualities can be explained by good results for Cognac across all of its markets, with varied consumption patterns”.

Driven by North America, shipments of VS grew by 6.0% in volume and 4.1% by value +4.1%, while VSOP shipments increased 10.0% in volume and + 2.1% in value.

According to the Federation of Exporters of Wines and Spirits of France and the French Federation of Spirits, in 2017 French spirits exports broke the €4 billion mark, with a total of 437 million litres (+ 2.4%). Boosting the overall value, Cognac accounted for 70% of the value of these exports, and nearly a quarter of the total value of all wine and spirits shipments from France.

“Cognac wine growers and traders are confident in their future prospects and continue today to fully invest in the development of the appellation, their sector and the quality of their products” concluded Christophe Forget, vice-president of the BNIC.

Top 10 markets for Cognac:-

86.5 million bottles

26.6 million bottles


26.2 million bottles

10.8 million bottles

4.8 million bottles


4.3 million bottles

3.8 million bottles


3.8 million bottles


3.1 million bottles

3.1 million bottles

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