Industry sources say that sales volumes of Beaujolais Nouveau are set to remain stable on 2003 when 420,000 hectolitres, the equivalent of 56m bottles were marketed.

As for exports, which totalled 174,000hl last year, fears that demand in the US would weaken as a result of the strong euro against the dollar have not materialised. Meanwhile, early estimates for orders to Japan, the leading foreign destination for  Beaujolais Nouveau, indicated a rise of 27% on 2003 volumes.  Exports have also been buoyed by continuing growth in sales to emerging markets such as eastern and Central Europe and South Korea.

However, prices are reported to have fallen by 20 to 25% over the past two or three weeks on the level of €175/hectolitre set by trade bodies at the start of the harvest.