Chile's wine sector has seen a mixed export market in 2009, with volumes up 9% but value down, as drinkers trade down in the recession.

Wine exports by value fell 4% in the first six months of the year, compared to same period of 2008, as the average litre price dropped to US$2.89 from US$3.30, according to industry figures.

However, packaged wine, including box and Tetra Pak, increased 17.8% in volume and 6.2% in value, while bulk wine exports rose 9.7% in volume and 6.5% in value.

Experts suggest this is mainly because Russia is buying more Chilean and less Argentinean bulk.

Sparkling wine exports rose by 63.5% in volume and 78.8% in value.

Last month, Wines of Chile USA director Lori Tieszen announced Carménère variety sales there were up 91% and Sauvignon Blanc up 33%. The US is Chile's focus market.