FRANCE: Wine hit by new export slump
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 %.
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