CHINA AND HONG KONG REMAINED BORDEAUX’S TOP EXPORT MARKETS DESPITE SHARP FALL IN 2018
By Susan Lewis
Hong Kong was Bordeaux wine’s top export market by value in 2018, export value increased by 3% to €327million. Despite a sharp 31% slump, China remained the top market by volume having imported 58 million bottles in 2018.
According to the Bordeaux 2018 annual report presented recently by Allan Sichel, Chairman of Bordeaux’s wine trade body Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), Hong Kong led the way in export value at €327 million, followed by China at €311 million, the United States at €279 million and the United Kingdom at €225 million.
By volume, Hong Kong market only ranked 6th having imported 10 million bottles. China remained the largest importer of Bordeaux wine in 2018 importing 58 million bottles, down 31% compared to 2017.
United States was the second biggest export market by volume at 26 million bottles, followed by Belgium and the United Kingdom at 24 million, Germany at 20 million and Japan at 11 million.
The sharp decline in export to China contributed to a whopping 14% fall in Bordeaux wine’s export volume last year, though export value managed to increase by 4% to €4 billion.
The CIVB attributed the decline in export volume to the small harvest in 2017 and the uncertainties in global economy.
“Though Bordeaux remain the leading region in France, the figures are down,” admitted Sichel. “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.”
He added that the increase in bulk wine exports from Chile and Argentina to China also added pressure on entry-level Bordeaux wines, which export mainly in bottles.
The CIVB annual report also highlighted the uncertainties in major markets around the world in 2018. China’s global imports of still wines were down 9%, against the background of economic slowdown and trade tensions with USA.
There was uncertainty in Europe on the question of Brexit, and the social crisis in France also affected wine sales.
Supermarket sales in France, Bordeaux wine’s biggest market, was down 12% by volume to 144 million bottles, and down 7% by value to €837 million. This compared to the average 7% fall by volume and 3% fall by value for all French wine regions.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)
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