Growers, producers and traders in Champagne have reached an agreement to raise the yield per hectolitre of grapes for this year's harvest.

The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) said this week that a deal had been brokered between growers and production houses to raise yields by 1,200 kilos for the 2008 harvest, increasing the limit to 13,600 kilos of grapes per hectolitre.

Growers had argued for a smaller increase, fearing a fall in grape prices if Champagne begins to suffer more acutely from the global economic downturn.

"13,600 kilos/ha represents a  good compromise deal," Patrick Le Brun, president of the growers union, the Syndicat Général des Vignerons (SGV) told just-drinks this week.

"If we look at the situation over the past 12 months, the volumes sold are more or less at a stable level and the agreement we have reached doesn't create either a risk of penury or of over-supply but corresponds very well with current market requirements," Le Brun said.

The 2008 yields will allow for a production of between 375m and 380m bottles.