Cognac exports reach ‘highest level’ in 2017By Nicola Carruthers
Global Cognac exports reached their “highest level” in both value and volume in 2017, resulting in a turnover of €3.15 billion (US$3.85bn), according to Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) figures.
The category witnessed an 11% growth in volume and a 14% rise in value, the Cognac industry’s trade body confirmed.
In total, 197.4m bottles were exported in 2017, with 86.2m bottles shipped to the US, Cognac’s largest market.
“The historic presence and ongoing investment of our brands in the United States make the strong performance of Cognac exports to this market possible,” explains Patrick Raguenaud, president of the BNIC.
Exports to the Far East reached 56.9m bottles, up 11.3% in volume and 18.4% in value.
There was a “steady” increase in exports to the Chinese market, where 25.5m bottles were shipped. “The trend towards strong recovery illustrates the lasting appetite of the Chinese for Cognac, even in this period of market normalisation,” added Raguenaud.
Shipments in Europe have also grown, up 5.7% in volume, equating to exports of more than 41.6m bottles.
Global exports were also bolstered by the Baltic countries and the recovery of Russia, which was up by 32.7% in volume.
Exports to non-traditional Cognac markets, such as Africa, continued to grow in 2017, with volume up by 13.2%.
VS Cognac, which accounts for half of all Cognac shipments, experienced volume growth of 8.6%. VSOP and older categories also increased in volume, by 11.2% and 14.3% respectively.
Climatic issues, marked by the episodes of frost in April 2017, affected overall production of Cognac last year but “less than anticipated”.
BNIC figures last year showed that global Cognac exports had finally started to recover from declines prompted by the Chinese government’s austerity drive.
Earlier this month, the BNIC announced that all XO Cognac must be aged for a minimum of 10 years, as opposed to six, under new industry regulations, which will come into force in April.