On the eve of the Vinexpo wine fair in Bordeaux, figures show that French wines are faced once again with an export slump.
 
In March, French wine exports fell 11 % in volume and 3.8 % in value  (excluding sparkling wines). AOC wines were badly affected - down 19 % in volume and 2.6 % in value.
 
France's wine and spirits export federation, FEVS, said initial feedback showed that the trend had not been reversed in April and May.
 
Figures for the first quarter of 2003 show a more stable picture with global wine exports, including sparkling wines, reaching €1.23 billion (+ 0.1 %). A closer look, however, reveals important disparities. Burgundy wines suffered a 25.5% dip in turnover while across all other still wine producing areas turnover was down by between 9.5% and almost 19%.  

Bordeaux wines increased their turnover by 14 % but this was due to a two-year delay by Customs in posting sales of 2000 vintage primeur des crus.
 
Champagne sales rose 9.4%to €262m.
 
The only glimmer of hope came from exports to the UK, the leading market for French wines in value terms, with first quarter sales up 8.4 %.