Despite announcing record exports for 2007, the president of the Federation des Exportateurs de Vins et Spiritueux de France (FEVS) said this week that he is not optimistic about the immediate future for France's wine and spirits companies.

"We don't know what the effect of the sub-prime crisis will be for us in 2008," Philippe Casteja, FEVS president, told just-drinks today (22 February). Casteja also highlighted currency issues saying euro increases against the dollar and yen would "weigh heavily" on prices and profits.

Although exports of French wines and spirits were up 6.9% in 2007 to EUR9.34bn (US$13.86bn), Casteja said he believes exports may have hit a ceiling, with good results in the emerging markets of Asia and Russia unlikely to compensate for a "probably morose" American economy this year.

Exports of Champagne, up 10.4% to EUR2.36bn, and Cognac, up 11.9% to EUR1.68bn, both broke previous records last year, the figures showed.

Spirit exports overall were up 3.3% to EUR2.64bn, and wines up 8.3% to EUR6.67bn.