Wooden barrels and vats: the New World, a growth driver for “Made in France”

Wednesday July 09 2014 by Vitisphere


The French coopers federation, the Fédération des Tonneliers de France (FTT) has just elected Jean-Luc Sylvain, the managing director of the Sylvain cooperage (Libourne), as its president for a third consecutive term.  At its last general meeting, the FTT also presented the 2013 results of its 49 member companies. With a turnover of € 331.7 million and 532,990 barrels sold (+3.6 % by volume and +3 % by value compared to last year), 2013 confirmed the recovery of the market, which began in 2012 (having returned to the 2007 level of sales, i.e. pre-crisis). Although France remains the FTT’s top market (with 29 % of total volume), demand remains fairly flat, compared to good growth in the export market (+0,3% and +5,3 % respectively). ”With the exception of France, all markets are growing again, driven by exports [which represent 80 % of Seguin Moreau’s sales turnover]”,  Nicolas Mähler-Besse (general manager of Seguin Moreau, a FTT member) recently told us.  According to French cooperage industry experts, the stability of sales in France is due to the small harvests in Bordeaux and Burgundy, offset by purchases in the Charente region for ageing cognacs.

With 29% of volume, the U.S. confirmed its position as the top export market for French barrels, while Australia has just moved ahead of Italy and Spain (with a drop in demand), which “illustrates the growing strength of New World markets, while the old continent continues to suffer”, notes the FTT.


[Source: Vitisphere; Photo: Tonnellerie Billon (Serge Chapuis)]





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