French wine and spirits exports to China drop 14.4%

Direct French wine and spirits exports to mainland China dropped 14.4% in value last year amid the country’s economic slowdown and trade frictions with the US, but French exports to Hong Kong remain strong.

According to the latest figures released by The Federation for Wine and Spirit Exporters (FEVS), direct sales to mainland China, France’s third biggest export market after Europe and the US, dipped by 14.4% to €1 billion in 2018.

However, the trade association noted that the decline was partly compensated by imports from Hong Kong and Singapore.

Antoine Leccia, president of FEVS, commented, “the Chinese market is largely supplied via Hong‐Kong and Singapore, which is not accurately reflected by export figures. At €2.5 billion, 2018 is the second‐best year for French wines and spirits exported to China / Hong Kong / Singapore, confirming the long‐term dynamics of the Chinese market.”

The rest of Asia excluding the aforementioned is “growing strongly” said the trade organisation with sales of French wine close to €1 billion, up 4.7%.

According to Chinese customs figures, China’s wine imports by volume dropped by 8.95% and value levelled out with a 1.1% increase with the main importing countries, including France, Australia, Spain and Italy all seeing drops in value with the exception of Chile, as dbHK reported earlier.

Other than China, French wines turnover in the EU increased for the second year in a row by 2.2% to €4.5 billion. The US continues to grow at a steady pace, with exports up 4.6% year‐on‐year to €3.2 billion.

Overall, French wine and spirits exports crossed the threshold of €13 billion in 2018 for the first time to €13.2 billion with €8.9 billion for wine and €4.3 billion for spirits.

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