Global exports of Burgundy wines declined by 9% in volume and 1.9% in value in the first half of the year, official figures show.
 
A total of almost 46m bottles were exported in the first six months of 2008, generating sales of just over EUR317.2m (US$452m), according to figures published by the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB).
 
Exports to the UK, Burgundy's biggest market, fell 8.3% in volume and 2.4% in value to EUR73.81m. It was an even bleaker picture for shipments to Burgundy's second main market, the US, with volumes down 19.4% and the value of sales dipping 16.9%.  
 
Despite the downward trend, the BIVB remained upbeat: "Admittedly, the strong euro against sterling and the dollar has weighed against exports but if we compare the first half of 2008 with 2006 -  a good year  - instead of 2007, which was truly exceptional, then exports show an increase," a BIVB spokesperson told just-drinks today (19 September).  

The double-digit fall in exports to the US probably reflected importers postponing new purchases and supplying the market from existing stocks, rather than a decline in consumption of Burgundy wines by the country's consumers, the spokesperson added.