French wine and spirits exports totalled EUR4.16bn (US$5.6bn) in the first half of the year, an increase of 7.5% on the corresponding period last year, according to Customs data published by trade body FEVS.

Champagne exports rose 13.1% in value and 8% in volume, while spirits were up 9.1% in value and 20% in volume, the star performer being Cognac.

Exports of still wines increased 4.1% in value and 1.3% in volume but results were mixed depending on the region. AOC wines declined in volume (-3.4%) but rose in value (+3.8%).

"These results highlight that the two main drivers of growth are spirits and Champagne," said Federation president, Philippe Casteja. Moving on to still wines he adds that "thanks to maintaining competitive prices and delivering on quality" these are "taking full advantage of international growth in wine consumption".

However, he goes on to underline the necessity of continuing the reforms already implemented in the still wines segment designed to promote a long-lasting competitiveness.