Close Menu

French spirits exports rise by 11.6%

Exports of French spirits grew by double digits to €5.5 billion (US$5.9bn) last year, despite a volume decline for Cognac.

French spirits Cognac
French spirit Cognac saw its value rise by 9.3% in 2022, despite a volume drop

According to trade body the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux de France (Fevs), French spirits exports increased by 11.6% in 2022, with volumes up by 2.2% to 55.7 million cases.

In 2021, French spirits exports rose by 30.1% in value and increased 12.4% in volume.

Cognac recorded a 3.7% drop in volume last year and a 9.3% increase in value.

Armagnac also recorded a decline in volume, down by 4.8%, but value rose by 7%. Other wine-based spirits saw an 8.4% volume decline.

However, liqueurs performed strongly, rising by 14.1% in volume and 12.8% in value.

Vodka experienced a 6.7% volume increase and soared by 28.7% in value.

Calvados was up by 6.1% in volume and 9.8% in value.

Combined French wine and spirits exports reached a record high of €17.2bn (US$18.4bn) in 2022, up by 10.8% on the previous year, however Fevs said this must be adjusted for inflation. Wine reached €11.6bn (US$12.4bn) in 2022, up by 10.2%.

“This positive result in 2022 marks the resilience of the industry in a particularly complex environment,” said César Giron, chairman of Fevs.

Giron called 2022 a “complex year” as “political and economic environment contributed to higher prices and to the revival of inflation”.

“We had to relearn how to work in an inflation environment, even if the exchange rates helped us to some extent,” he noted.

Performance in key markets

In the US, exports of wine and spirits climbed by 14% to €4.7bn (US$5.04bn), despite a 5% volume decrease. The market was led by sparkling wines (up 20%) and spirits (up 13%).

Exports to the UK increased by 7% in 2022 to €1.7bn (US$1.8bn), driven by double-digit gains for Champagne. The value of spirits exports fell by 5%.

Asia grew by 5% to €3.9bn (US$4.1bn) last year, boosted by Japan (up 23%) and South Korea (up 31%).

China’s performance was ‘sluggish’ with a minor 0.5% rise, and Hong Kong dropped by 29%.

Strict lockdown measures during 2022 impacted the region’s performance.

Fevs said the trade balance totalled €15.7bn (US$16.8bn) – an increase of 10.3% – confirming the wine and spirits sector as the second largest trade surplus, after aeronautics.

“Our 2022 performance reduced France’s trade deficit by 10%,” said Giron. “More than ever, public authorities need to pay duly attention to these sectors and companies which, year after year, support the country’s economy.”

Giron called on public authorities to resolve trade disputes with the US.

“France must also continue its efforts to open foreign markets,” Giron continued. “Such action will determine our ability to create exports value, which is essential to address, in a sustainable way, our challenges: generational renewal and climate transition.”

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No