Sales of Cognac last year recorded their highest level in value terms, according to figures released earlier this week.

Trade body the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) said yesterday that sales by value in 2013 rose by 0.2% year-on-year, coming in at EUR2.4bn (US$3.27bn). In volume terms, however, sales fell by 4% to 161.4m bottles but this was still the third-best year ever recorded, it said.

"Shipments of Cognac remain at a high level in the context of a global economic downturn," the BNIC said.

There was a marked recovery in the North America markets, with volumes in the region increasing by 2.1% and value sales up by 5.3%.

However, shipments to the Asia-Pacific region fell in both volumes and value by 9.8% and 3.8% respectively, reflecting the slowdown in the Chinese market after a decade of sustained growth, BNIC added.