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China Helps France Regain Top Producer Slot

Posted: Friday, 14 January 2011 12:30

China Helps France Regain Top Producer Slot

Helped by the insatiable thirst of the Chinese for premium Bordeaux wines resulting in unprecedented surge in demand, France became the world’s biggest producer once again, after briefly losing the Top Spot to Italy last year, according to a study conducted for Vinexpo by IWSR, which also predicts it will remain the leading producer at least for another four years.

If one goes by the enormous success achieved by the Bordeaux top growths in the auctions in Hong Kong , New York and London in 2010, as confirmed by the Bordeaux Wine Council, the French wine industry benefited significantly from a huge surge in demand for wines from Bordeaux in China and Hong Kong, according to the study.

The study, conducted by London-based IWSR, International Wine and Spirit Research, shows France producing 419 million cases of wine in 2010, making it the number one producer followed by Italy down to Silver and Spain maintaining the Bronze position.

The report confirms the findings of a separate French study by the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin. Using a different methodology, OIV had reported in November 2009 that France was back on top after Italy took the lead for a year.

Besides the spurt in demand from the Chinese, the French industry also gained through big growth areas among French consumers include rosé which went up by about 20 % in five years and sparkling wine which recorded an increase of  4.6 %.

To put things in proper perspective and in sharp contrast, India produced only about 1.2-1.3 million cases of wines including cheap and fortified wines unofficially classified as Goan Port wine, last year.

French wine exports declined by an average of 1.1 % in value between 2005 and 2009 and by 9.4 % in volume, the study shows, indicating that they managed a better average price per bottle. A less steep average drop of 5.54 % is anticipated for them till 2014 but they are expected to still maintain the top position for at least four more years, till 2014 as indicated by the study.

The study also indicates that after a global decline by an average of 2 % annually since the 1960s, the reduction in world wine consumption slowed down between 2005 and 2009 to 1.4 % a year. This fall is expected to slow further between 2010 and 2014 to 0.7 % annually.


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