Cognac took a hit in December

Cognac took a hit in December

China's Cognac shipments are back on track as Chinese New Year sales have kicked- in, according to new figures. 

Direct shipments to the country last month jumped by 72% year-on-year, analyst UBS said citing Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) data. The jump pushed China's six-month rolling volumes average to +1.3% year-on-year, up from -5.4% in December, according to the figures.

In December, sales were down by 28% on the previous year because a later-than-usual Chinese New Year meant customers delayed purchases, UBS said. January also benefited from a soft comparison from last year (-20%) and the end of China's government transition that saw president Xi Jinping take control in November, UBS said.

In the US, the biggest Cognac market by volume ahead of China, January shipments declined by 16% year-on-year after a strong December, the figures showed. The six-month volumes average for January was -0.9% but value stood at +7.4%, highlighting a positive price/mix, UBS said.

In November, an analyst said Cognac sales in China were slowing but there was still room for growth in the country.