Fine Champagne producers have seen their sales reach just below the €5bn mark for 2018 which has broken all previous records. All this sounds great, one concern though for refined Champagne producers is that their biggest export market, which is the UK, ordered fewer bottles.
Global Fine Champagne
Champagne sales globally for refined Champagnes and all Champagnes have increase 0.3% for 2018 from 2017, with a total volume of 302 million bottles, this data has come from the trade body. The figures are based on shipment information rather than retail sales. The Comité Champagne also reveals that both markets were down by around 4& in comparison to the 2017 figures.
Weaker demand in both France and UK is the main reason behind the reduced overall volumes for refined Champagne. The main markets in each of the countries are Champagne London and Champagne Paris and they saw similar drops in their figures.
Fine Champagne markets closing for UK & US
While the UK remains the largest export market for Champagne by volume, the gap between it and the US in second place has narrowed in recent years.
In 2018, 26.8m bottles of Champagne were exported to the UK and 23.7m were shipped to the US, which saw a 2.7% increase on 2017.
Exports to the UK were 31.2m bottles in 2016, according to figures released at the time, with the US on 21.8m bottles that year.
Fine Champagne beyond Europe
The Comité Champagne reveals that total Champagne exports for the year ending 2018 for exceptional Champagne saw an increase of 1.8%. The main driver for this increase was the demand for fine Champagne from beyond Europe. Champagne London is a great market but increasing this will always be difficult.
In relation to exports of refined Champagne, they rose by 0.6% compared to 2017, totalling 155m bottles.
In terms of value of exceptional Champagne, the US is the most valuable of the markets for the Champenois, this was despite shipments decreasing by 1.5%. The fine Champagne market in UK saw a 2.2% decrease, with the UK remaining second and Champagne London being the predominant market.
Fine Champagne Export
Exports of refined Champagne to Japan, which is 3rd in terms of size of market, rose by nearly 4%, with Champagne Tokyo following similar patterns to Champagne London and likely used at corporate events and birthdays.
Russia, China and Hong Kong saw a great increase in demand for exceptional Champagne with an increase of 14% in value and 12% in bottles in Hong Kong.
Fine Champagne shipments to China saw a healthy increase of 12% in value, and 10% in volume.
Exports to Russia increased 105 for refined Champagne, which represented an increase of 15% in volume.
South Africa also saw an increase in demand for exceptional Champagne, with sales topping the 1m bottle figure for the first time.