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Global headwinds slow Burgundy exports

Economic showdowns and the worldwide restrictions put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted exports from Burgundy in the first nine months of the year.

As reported by the Burgundy Wine Board, exports in the first nine months of 2020 dipped 3.9% by volume and 9.3% by value compared to the same period in 2019.

In addition to the impact of Covid-19, exports have also been hampered by the tariffs in the US imposed as part of the Boeing/Airbus dispute with the European Union.

After a good start to the year with the release of the 2018 vintage, the major constriction came between March and May when lockdowns came into effect and sectors such as the on-trade were effectively nullified.

During this period exports dropped 11.8% by volume and 21% by value, although there was a bounce-back in June and July as restrictions eased with volume up 7.5% and value 6.8% on those same months in 2019.

There was another slump in August however with volumes dropping to 12.8% year-on-year and value down 13.1%.

In the main, the UK, Canada, Switzerland and Sweden have proved more robust than other markets for Burgundian wines overall.

The UK has seen volume growth across red, white and sparkling Burgundian wines and the BIVB commented that even with the uncertainties of Brexit unresolved:  “Exports to the UK have not been impacted by any new taxes or administrative measures, which may explain the strong growth.”

Meanwhile the US and China have seen volume and value exports drop sharply, down 21% in volume and 29% in value to the US and 30% by volume and 16.8% by value to Mainland China and Hong Kong.

In the US the 25% levy on wines under 14% and a slowing economy are the main blockers on exports which have suffered across the board, while in China and Hong Kong, economic slowdown, political unrest and the pandemic put the brakes on several years of growth although some appellations were affected more than others.

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