France's wine and spirits export revenues are forecast to reach a record level, according to trade body, the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux (FEVS).

Although the latest available figures from French Customs only cover the first ten months of 2006, the FEVS is confident that annual export revenues will reach over EUR8bn (US$10.5bn) breaking the previous record of just over EUR7.8m set in 2003.

"If we look at the 12-month period from October 2005 to October 2006, the value of exports totalled EUR8.6bn. We have no reason to believe that November and December 2006 will be bad months and the record will be broken," a FEVS spokesman told just-drinks.

If the FEVS forecast is correct, the 2006 figures will mark a 10% increase in the value of exports - and a 4% rise in volumes - compared to 2005.

The spokesman added: "It's been a fantastic year for Champagne and Cognac while still wines, particularly at the top end of the market, led by Bordeaux and Burgundy, have more than confirmed the recovery which was triggered from the second half of last year."