Champagne shipments in 2013 fell back by 1.5% to 304m bottles, “a satisfactory result in a difficult economic environment in Champagne’s main European markets,” says the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) in a statement accompanying the estimated figures, which were released over a month earlier than usual this year. This volume is nearly 5m down on 2012 and nearly 19m below the 2011 figure of 322.95m bottles but while shipments to both the French domestic market and Europe outside France are down by 2.3 and 3.4% respectively, shipments to countries outside Europe reached a new record level of 63m bottles, up another 3.2% on the 2012 figure.
The markets outside Europe now account for only 11m fewer bottles than Europe, the closest the two have been and in value terms they are neck and neck. Countries outside Europe, a group still dominated by the USA and Japan, respectively the second and fourth ranked export markets for champagne in terms of volume, now account for over 25% of total shipments in value terms and just over 20% in volume. In fact while Japan was still 3.5m bottles smaller than Germany in volume terms in 2012 (12.5m vs 9m bottles), as a very high value market where average bottle price was €19.10 versus Germany’s €14.8 in 2012, in overall value terms Japan is now very close to Germany with shipments there in 2012 worth €173.64m against shipments to Germany of €186.22m.
In 2012 average shipment prices in the three areas were:
France: €12.44 a bottle
Europe: €14.96 a bottle
Outside Europe: €18.18 a bottle
The overall year-end shipment figures in 2013 are better than was expected after a difficult November when shipments were down 13.5% in Europe compared with November 2012 and the total figure looked like being under 300m bottles. A general recovery in December saw shipments increase to around 42m bottles, an 8% rise on December 2012. Total value of shipments for 2013 was only fractionally down on 2012 at around €4.3bn.