French wine exports up – and down
Despite the economic downturn, wine drinkers are apparently abandoning cheaper French wines in favour of more upmarket alternatives.
The trend contributed to a six-month period in which French export volumes fell by 8.7% but the value of sales increased by 8.2% to £2.6 billion.
Ubifrance, the French export development agency, said the first half of 2008 had brought mixed fortunes for France’s wine exporters. The rising euro and increasing competition from the New World meant that vins de pays had found the going difficult in vital markets such as the UK, USA and Germany.
There was also some disappointing news from Champagne – a sign interpreted by some that a world recession is inevitable. Export volumes were down 4.2% and sales value by 1.3%.