Exports of Loire Valley wines fell heavily in the first half of 2009, figures from trade association Inter-Loire show.

Global exports of the French region's wines fell 33% by volume to 187,847 hectolitres and by 25% in value to almost EUR80.48m (US$120.6m), compared to the first six months of 2008, Inter-Loire said today (11 November).

Although only representing around 10% of the total, sparkling wines provided some relief with increases of 4% in volume and 3% in value.

All of the major international destinations for Loire wines recorded heavy declines. Shipments to the UK slid 49% in volume and 39% in value.