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Cognac exports rise for third year running

The Cognac industry witnessed record exports in 2016/17, with impressive growth across the previously beleaguered regions of China and Russia.

While The Spirits Business reported earlier this year that Cognac exports had rebounded to pre-crisis levels in the 2016 calendar year, new data from the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) accounts for the 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017 period.

For the third year running, Cognac exports increased, with 10.2% growth in volume to 190.2 million bottles and 15.2% growth in value to €3 billion (US$3.5bn).

The US retained its position as the largest Cognac market, with 78.7 million bottles shipped to the country in 2016/17.

While exports to Europe dipped in the 2016 calendar year, growth was pulled back in the 2016/17 period, with an increased of 10.1% in volume and 8.1% in value.

A “revived interest” in Cognac from Russia and the Baltics region, where shipments increased by a massive 73.2%, spearheaded Europe’s return to growth.

China, whose austerity measures led to a sharp decline in Cognac exports in recent years, steered growth of the Far East, which saw an overall volume increase of 10.6% and value increase of 19.4%.

New regions represented more than 6.5% of global export volumes with nearly 12.3m bottles shipped in 2016/17. The BNIC claims that more shipments to potential growth areas such as South Africa and the Caribbean are confirmed for next year.

VS export volumes grew 9.6%, VSOP by 7.4% and older expressions increased by 24.2% thanks to the recovery in the Far East.

The BNIC, the Cognac industry’s trade body, is further seeking to “guarantee that production and stock levels are in line with demand” through a new business plan.

It is also working on measures to help viticulturists manage the dangers of climatic events following this year’s heavy frost and hail.

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