Asian cognac clamour drives sales of €2bn

Annual sales of cognac are worth €2 billion thanks to a surge in XO and VSOP sales in the Far East, says the Cognac Bureau (BNIC).

Total sales volume increased 6.4% in 2011 to over 18 million 9-litre cases, of which the Far East accounted for 35.8%, having grown 14.4% during the period.

The BNIC has reported that XO was up 15.3% and VSOP rose 7.9% during 2011.

According to the inter-professional body, China was an important driver of the Far East region’s growth, recording a volume increase of 20.1% over the year to 2.5 million 9-litre cases.

The category’s second largest region, NAFTA (the US, Canada and Mexico) - which makes up 31.2% of volume  - showed an increase of 3.2% with the US remaining the number one market with sales of 5.4 million cases.

The BNIC reported that sales in Europe – 28.8% of total volume – remained stable.

In statement a BNIC spokesperson said: "All those involved in the production of cognac are delighted at the excellent results for the AOC in 2011 but remain vigilant as to the future, given the current economic and financial uncertainties.”