Exports were up 1.8% in revenue and 0.6% in volume, according to Comité Champagne. Demand is ‘most dynamic’ beyond the EU: for example the US (23.7 million bottles, +2.7%) and Japan (13.6 million bottles, +5.5%); while exports to mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan collectively reached 4.7 million bottles (+9.1%).
In South Africa, sales reached the million-bottle mark for the very first time, with growth of 38.4%. Exports to Canada (2.3 million bottles, +4.8%) and Mexico (1.7 million bottles, +4.3%) also grew.
While exports to Australia have grown significantly over the past decade (up 134%), in 2018 they dropped slightly due to a less favourable exchange rate (8.4 million bottles, -1.8%).
From an agronomic perspective, 2018 was an unprecedented year with a ‘bumper harvest of outstanding quality, boding extremely well for the future Champagne cuvées’, says Comité Champagne.
In value, turnover was up 0.3%, but volumes declined 1.8% to 301.9m bottles. This was mainly due to a decline in sales in France and the UK: with volumes down 4% (These two markets account for 60% of total sales).