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French wine exports take 10% nosedive

According to a new report by the French Association of Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS), the volume of drinks exported from France fell by 10.4% in 2023.

A new report has revealed that wine and spirits exports plummeted in volume terms last year, which the FEVS has attributed partly to falling exports to the United States.

Exports of wine and spirits to the US declined by 22% as a result of wholesalers across the Atlantic trying to reduce a surplus of stock that had built up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sparkling wine exports to the US were hit harder than still wines, with fizz seeing a 16% value drop. The value of still wine exports to the US remained relatively stable.

However, it was worse still for spirits, which saw export values to the US fall by a worrying 37%.

“This decline is a wake‐up call for exporting companies,” said Gabriel Picard, president of FEVS. “It reminds us of the continued need to adapt to changing consumer and market demands. It also demonstrates how much the sustainability of the export success of wines and spirits requires a strong and long‐lasting support of the public authorities.”

Speaking about possible ways to combat the slide, Picard added: “New markets must be opened, and others must also be prevented from closing, in particular through trade retaliatory measures.”

He appeared to hint at the recent move by China to block imports of French brandy, with Beijing launching an “anti-dumping” investigation into all brandy imported from the EU.

The move is widely felt to be a trade retaliation to the EU launching its own anti-dumping investigation into imports of electric vehicles, components and biodiesel products from China.

Rémy Cointreau, Pernod Ricard and LVMH all reported reduced sales of Cognac in the third quarter of last year and Beijing’s announcement had the immediate effect of wiping €10 billion off the companies’ combined values.

The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac intends to fully cooperate with Chinese authorities, saying: “We are confident that our products and commercial practices fully comply with Chinese and international regulations.”

The new report from FEVS shows that French exports to China fell by 6% last year, wiping €1.2 billion off the French economy.

Total value of wine and spirits exported from France across the globe dropped to €16.2 billion in 2023, representing a 5.9% decrease from 2022.

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