French wine exports continue to remain in the doldrums according to a report issued by France's Centre for Foreign Trade (CFCE).  In the first nine months of the year, exports declined 5.2% in volume and 4.3% in value.

The CFCE goes on to note that during the course of the third quarter there were no real signs of overall improvement in the market.

Contrary to Champagne and other sparkling wines, which continue to benefit form sustained demand, still wines are suffering most in the downturn.

While exports Burgundy and Loire wines are holding up reasonably well, the same can't be said for other major producing regions such as Bordeaux, Beaujolais and Cotes de Rhone.

The Bordeaux trade, for example, has not seen the buoyancy in sales for primeurs of the 2001 vintage as it did for the previous year.

Vins de pays and in particular, vins de pays d'Oc, have felt the impact of a dip in demand in UK but this has been compensated to a degree by a strong export performance to the US, Germany and Japan.