Global exports of Côte de Rhône wines fell 5.9% in volume and 6% in value in the first half of 2008 on the same period last year, according to figures issued by Inter-Rhône today (17 September).

Volumes from the French wine region decreased to 306,508 hectolitres while the value of exports declined to EUR122.2m (US$173.7m).

Shipments to the UK, the biggest market for Côte de Rhône's wines, were down 15.2% in volume to 70,625 hectolitres and fell 8.6% in value to just over EUR27.1m. Shipments to the US, meanwhile, fell by 15% in volume and 25.3% in value.

A spokesman for Inter-Rhône said both markets had been hit by the weakness of sterling and the dollar against the euro.

However, the global decline in exports has been checked by the positive trend in shipments to several European countries such as Denmark where bag-in box sales have proved successful.