US overtakes UK as Champagne’s most valuable market

Total champagne shipments in 2015 are up 1.7% on 2014, to 312,531,444, bottles, the highest volume figure recorded since 2011, according to the CIVC (Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne).

The most impressive growth in value comes from the US where shipments rose by 7.09% to 20.51m bottles, but this was worth €514.8m, up 28.18%.

This puts the US ahead of the UK as the most valuable export market for the Champenois, even though more than 13m fewer bottles of champagne were shipped there.

The UK remains the largest single export market in terms of volume at 34.15m bottles and these had a value of €512.2m.

Shipments to the French domestic market were broadly stable, but since 2011 they have declined by around 20m bottles.

Shipments to other European countries were up 3.3% to just over 80m bottles, again the highest since 2011, but not back to 2007 levels of nearly 91.5m bottles.

Countries outside Europe continue on a steady growth path overall, exports to these further flung markets have risen for over a decade apart from a post economic crisis blip in 2008 and 2009.

In terms of the share these three sectors command, since the market peaked in 2007 France’s share of total shipments has dropped from 55.5 to 51.8%, Europe has fallen slightly from 26.98 to 25.65% while other markets outside Europe have seen their share rise from 17.54 to 22.57%.

Two trends that will please the Champenois are the rise in the value of shipments plus the growth of the main négociant houses’ share of total sales by volume and value.

As we have already noted in DI, the 312.5m bottles shipped had a record value of €4.75 billion, which puts 2015 even above the record turnover achieved in 2007 of €4.56 billion. While fluctuations in the value of the Euro certainly effect this figure, value has risen faster than volume in nine of the top ten export markets. Australia, which has become sixth largest export market for champagne just behind Belgium, but well ahead of Italy, is the only exception. While it again achieved dramatic growth of 24.31% to just over 8.1m bottles, value was up slightly less at 20.52%.