Bordeaux, Champagne en Cognac hebben gezamenlijk een record gevestigd in de Franse wijn- en digestieven-omzet. Het getal 1,1 miljard euro viel vandaag bij de Franse federatie van exporteurs in deze branche. Ze maken zich wel zorgen over de verkochte hoeveelheden. Dat kwantum groeide maar met 1,6 % terwijl de waarde in geld met 10 % omhoog ging. De federatie liet weten:
“French wine and spirit exporters had a record-breaking year in 2012, driven by strong performances from the Cognac, Bordeaux and Champagne regions.
Yet the industry is still concerned that volumes are not growing quickly enough and have called on the government to provide greater assistance.
Exports surpassed the 11 billion euro ($14.7bn) mark in 2012. While overseas consumption of French wines and spirits increased just 1.6 percent by volume last year, the value of exports increased by more than 1 billion euro ($1.33bn) or 10 percent.
The major contributors to this growth included Cognac, which experienced a 34 percent rise in value sales; Bordeaux recorded a 30 percent increase.
“It is the best performance in our history and was achieved in a difficult global economic environment,” said Louis Fabrice Latour, president of FEVS and managing director of the Burgundy négociant Louis Latour.
“The only slight negative comes from the volume figures, which are more stagnant,” he added.
Indeed the French wine sector is struggling to increase volume sales, and it is an area that Latour warned “should not be ignored.” Over the past 10 years, wine exports have fallen 10 percent in volume and have risen 30 percent in value. However, the value growth has largely been fueled by strong demand for Champagne and Bordeaux wines.
He admitted that the French wine industry “still had a lot to do” in the face of international competition, particularly from Australia and Spain.
Latour called on the national government to provide greater assistance to the wine sector. “Support from public authorities is absolutely necessary to strengthen our export activities,” he said. “State action is required to lift the various trade barriers that can affect our access to new markets.”
While emerging markets including Brazil, Russia, India and China are providing volume and value growth, the rate of growth is slowing. The European economy and the weakness of the Japanese yen are also cause for concern.
In addition, the small 2012 harvest across France is a worry with a fall in supply like to increase prices. The French Confederation of Wine Cooperatives has already warned that prices will rise significantly after a 20 percent fall in the size of the crop.
“Is the market going to be able to swallow the rises in price?” asked Latour.