Hard times for the French wine industry

Wine exports down due to tariffs and the pandemic.

Wine exports down due to tariffs and the pandemic / Credit: Adobe Stock
Wine exports down due to tariffs and the pandemic / Credit: Adobe Stock

French wine exports dopped in 2020. At 13.6 million hl, sales were down 4.9 percent compared to the previous year. The value fell by 10.8 percent to 8.7 billion euros, as trade organisation Business France confirms according to the Direction Nationale des Statistiques du Commerce Extérieur. This would correspond to a decline of about 702,500 hl of wine and 1 billion euros in turnover.

The reasons are said to be the closure of the hospitality industry during the pandemic, the US tariffs and the decline of the Chinese market.

Considering these factors, the biggest losses in total exports, which include France's re-exported wines, occurred in the first half of 2020 (-10% in volume and -20% in value). However, the temporary end of the lockdown as well as a good year-end business have been able to mitigate these losses somewhat, Adrien Boussard, consultant in charge of the wine and spirits sector at Business France told the French press.

The strongest export declines were recorded in the volume of bottled still wines (-490,000 hl/4.9%) and in the value of sparkling wines (-648 mill. €/-18.8%). Wines filled in bag-in-box, on the other hand, recorded an increase of 13.4 percent in volume and 7.1 percent in value. Shipments of must increased by 42.1 percent, but with a decrease in value of 16.7 percent. Bulk wine goods lost 1.3 percent in volume while increasing in value by 16.8 percent, according to the statistics. 

Regionally, the losses mainly affect Champagne with a loss of 634 million euros and Bordeaux with a loss of 288 million euros. 

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