2018, a bad year for Bordeaux

Wednesday March 20 2019 by Vitisphere

Bernard Farges, vice-chairman, and Allan Sichel (right), chairman of the Bordeaux wine marketing council CIVB on March 12.Bernard Farges, vice-chairman, and Allan Sichel (right), chairman of the Bordeaux wine marketing council CIVB on March 12. - Photo credit : Bertrand Collard

The figures are down”, admitted Allan Sichel. “Last year, Bordeaux wine exports fell by 14% in volume (1.9 million hl) generating revenue of 2.09 billion euros. And sales in French supermarkets and hypermarkets fell by 12% in volume (to 1.08 million hl) and by 7% in value (to 837 million euros)”.

Sharp downturn in China

The downturn is the sharpest in China. Bordeaux's exports fell by 31% by volume to 436,000 hl and by 22% in value to 311 million euros. “In China, after the small 2017 harvest, there was a ‘cleansing effect’ on high-volume wines sold at low prices. This contributed to a decline in our exports”, added Sichel. The increase in bulk wine exports from Chile and Argentina also penalised Bordeaux, which exports mainly in bottles.

A cyclical low

The decline in China has made Hong Kong once again the leading market for Bordeaux wines by value, with revenue of €327 million (+3%) and export volumes of 77,000 hl (down 4%). As a reminder, in 2008, revenue of Bordeaux wines totalled 75 million euros, so sales have trebled in 10 years.

The American market also fuelled growth: despite a marginal decline in volumes (199,000 hl, -1%), there was a significant increase in value (279 million euros, +21%), notwithstanding the overall decline in American imports.

 

Bernard Farges, vice-chairman, and Allan Sichel (right), chairman of the Bordeaux wine marketing council CIVB on March 12.

 

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