FRENCH WINE EXPORTS GO DOWN the DRAIN
WHAT IS BECOMING OF THE ONCE INFALLIBLE French wine industry? Things are appearing increasingly grim for the coming year after exports fell by 15% in volume and 12% in value in October the industry’s export body has warned. The October figures were the latest from France’s Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins et Spiritueux (FEVS), which says the global economic slowdown is starting to bite hard. November figures were anticipated to be even worse, which is significant as sales are generally buoyed for the month in response to holiday orders. As for 2OO9, FEVS Assistant General Secretary Renaud Gaillard said that all visibility has gone from the market. He told just-drinks: “Importers and distributors are running down their stocks rather than renewing them. There are extreme downward pressures on prices while producers and traders are worried about the financial implications of maintaining relatively high stock levels. We’re in a very difficult period.” Wine exports for the first nine months of 2OO8 rose 3.7% in value, but were artificially boosted by high prices for top Bordeaux wines, the FEVS said.