Cognac sales have probably reached their lowest point, according to trade body the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de Cognac (BNIC).

Cognac volume sales fell 14% to 133.7m bottles for the 12 months to the end of May, against the corresponding period a year earlier, BNIC said.

"Initial estimates for June point to a slowdown in the rate of decline we saw in the previous five months," a BNIC spokesperson told just drinks today (8 July). 

"Last month's volumes will probably be down slightly on June 2008 and while there is little market visibility, the signs appear more encouraging for July and August."  

After six years of strong growth, global Cognac shipments fell 6.2% in volume in 2008, although value sales rose 0.3% and China, Cognac's second market after the US, reported volume sales up 6.8%. 

"Clearly China will have an important role to play in the global recovery of Cognac sales," the spokesperson said.