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GLOBAL: Cognac sees US, Africa offset China woes - figures

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Rising sales of Cognac in the US and sub-Saharan Africa have offset a sharp decline for the category in China, according to latest figures.   

Cognac producers have seen positive results in the US

Cognac producers have seen positive results in the US

Global sales of Cognac slipped by 10.2% to EUR2.2bn (US$2.8bn) in the 12 months to July, while volumes slid by 6.7% to 115.5m bottles, trade body The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) reported. 

In the Far East region, Cognac sales fell by 19% to around EUR1bn, while volumes were down by 21% to 49.2m bottles. The BNIC pointed to China as the culprit for the decline, where the government's anti-extravagance measures have hit producers hard. 

Remy Cointreau, Pernod Ricard and Diageo have all suffered from China's crackdown

North America was the bright spot, where sales grew by 6% and volumes rose by 6%, helped predominantly by the US. The country remained Cognac's top market by volume with 54.1m bottles exported in the year. 

Meanwhile, in Europe, Cognac sales fell by 11.7%, while volumes slipped by 4.7%. However, Eastern Europe saw a 4.4% lift in volumes, the BNIC said. 

Elsewhere, the group flagged “promising results” in sub-Saharan Africa, where sales grew by 20% and and volumes by 17%, predominantly in South Africa and Nigeria. 

In category terms, VS (very special) quality saw volumes up 3% and sale up 1.8%, mainly due to the US. But VSOP (very superior old pale) saw sales fall 17% and volumes by 13.3%. 

Earlier this week, it was reported that total exports of French wine and spirits had fallen in the first half of 2014. 


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