Champagne down in top market

Champagne sales to the UK were down 5.1% in volume and 3.8% in value last year.

The CIVC attributed the slide to “a late reaction to the economic downturn” and said there was better news in Japan where shipments were up by 6.7%, Belgium which was up 14.1% and Australia, up 11.4.

The UK, which is the French wine’s top export market with sales of €447.2 million last year, is still way ahead of second place US and, according to the CIVC, is showing "powerful signs" of recovery in the on-trade which accounts for more than one third of UK sales.

Francoise Peretti, UK Champagne Bureau director said: “The UK Champagne market is typically procyclical, with a pronounced tendency to late reaction. It is not unusual to see the consequences of an economic downturn maybe one or two years after the event.

“Market optimism combined with the tremendous buoyancy we are seeing in the on-trade leaves me in no doubt that the UK will remain Number One among Champagne export markets for a very long time to come.”