French wine exports surpass pre-Covid levels

Monday September 06 2021 by Vitisphere

 The global economic recovery is benefiting French wines. The global economic recovery is benefiting French wines. - Photo credit : J.F. Hillebrand

In the first half of 2021, France exported 7.3 million hectolitres of wine worth 5.2 billion euros. This equates to increases of 15% by volume and 40% by value compared with the first six months of 2020 during lockdown, but more importantly to growth of 15% by volume and 9% by value compared with the first half of 2019. Not only are exports of French wines outstripping those during the first wave of Covid-19, they are also returning to growth rates in excess of their pre-Covid performance.

It makes sense that more wine should be exported in 2021 than in 2020 as the economy had come to a standstill at that point. Interestingly, though, exports are outperforming those of 2019, which were already good”, sums up Adrien Boussard, wine and spirits advisor for Business France, who has shared his statistics with Vitisphere (see below). “Overall, performance is very good in the leading markets”, he adds, pointing to the recovery of the American market since the suspension of Trump/Airbus taxes for still wines, not to mention record shipments of sparkling wines, including Champagnes.

Among the top 10 export destinations for French wines, however, some markets are casting a shadow over the overall picture. A case in point is the drop in volumes shipped to Great Britain at the beginning of 2021 compared to 2020 (-13%) and 2019 (-12%), which may mark the end of pre-Brexit stockpiling and probably a need to stabilise the market, comments Boussard. Although China imported more French wine in the first half of 2021 than in 2020 (+47% in volume and +86% in value), it has not reverted to 2019 levels (-20% in volume and +6% in value). Aside from the premiumisation of French wines in China, the Chinese market is still in decline. Also, French and Chilean wines are only marginally recovering the volumes of Australian wines that are no longer imported due to punitive duties.



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