Bordeaux has exported 11% less wine to China in the past 12 months compared to the same period a year ago. In value terms, however, there is an increase of 3%, indicating that Chinese consumers are buying more premium Bordeaux wine.
The latest data were released by the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB), it explained that the drop in export volume to China was a result of the very low harvest in 2017.
China remains the biggest market for Bordeaux wine despite the drop in volume. The country has imported 551,000 hectolitres (equivalent to 73 million bottles) amounts to €377 million in the past 12 months.
These compared to the 204,000 hectolitres in volume and €271 million in value imported by USA, Bordeaux’s second biggest market.
Export to Japan, Bordeaux's third biggest market, stabilised at 150,000 hectolitres at a value of €113 million.
The data also showed that Hong Kong consumers are still very much fans of Bordeaux reds. Bordeaux accounts for 18% by volume and 43% by value of all Hong Kong imported wines of which 97% are red.
Export to EU countries as a whole increased 1% to 713,000 hectolitres, by value though it represents an increase of 16% to of €605 million.
The low 2017 harvest led to a drop in supply driving prices higher. The situation where export value increases despite a drop in volume is rather common. Total Bordeaux wine export during the period has dropped slightly by 1% to 2.1 million hectolitres, but in value terms it has increased 9% to €2.1 billion.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)