Cognac exports rise for fourth consecutive year

14th August, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

The Cognac industry witnessed record growth in 2017/18, with volume and value up by 8.2% and 5.4%, respectively.

Global Cognac shipments experienced record growth in 2018

Global Cognac shipments experienced record growth in 2018

New data from the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) for the 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018 period show that Cognac exports continued to grow for a fourth consecutive year.

A new record was set for the number of bottles shipped, reaching 205.9 million bottles. Turnover increased to €3.2 billion (US$3.6bn).

The US continued to be Cognac’s largest market with 86.5m bottles shipped to the country in 2017/18.

“The dark spirits category is growing in the US market, encouraged by the historical presence of Cognac and the constant investments of the Cognac houses,” said Patrick Raguenaud, president of the BNIC. “This is ensuring that shipments towards the US continue to grow year-on-year.”

Shipments to the Far East increased to 60.9m bottles, up by 13.5% in volume and 12.4% in value. China led the region’s growth with nearly 26.2m bottles shipped, confirming “the lasting appetite of the Chinese for Cognac, even as the market is stabilising”.

Exports to Europe “remained stable” with a 2% dip in volume and a 3% increase in value, with 41.4m bottles shipped. The fall was attributed to western and northern Europe while Russia and Latvia witnessed “continued growth”. Shipments in the UK “remain stable despite the Brexit context,” added Raguenaud.

South Africa, Vietnam, Oceania, and the Caribbean achieved a total increase of +12.2% in volume and +5.3% in value. These “high potential” areas represent more than 6.7% of global volumes shipped, or nearly 13.9m bottles.

VS Cognac, which accounts for half of all Cognac shipments, experienced volume growth of 6%, boosted by North America. VSOP and older categories also increased in volume, by 10% and 12.4% respectively.

According to the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux de France (FEVS), French spirits exports broke the €4bn mark for the first time in 2017, boosted by the double-digit growth of Cognac.

“Cognac wine growers and traders are confident in their future prospects and continue today to fully invest in the development of the appellation, their sector and the quality of their products,” said Christophe Forget, vice-president of the BNIC.

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