Champagne shipments in 2016 were down 2.1% at 306,036,369 bottles, a little over 6.5m bottles below the level reached in 2015, according to the statistics released by the CIVC. This is just above the 304,994,000 bottles shipped in 2013, the poorest recent year, although immediately after the financial market meltdown only 293,331,000 bottles were shipped in 2009.
The French market declined further, accounting for nearly 4m bottles of the worldwide fall and dropping to just under 158m bottles. The French domestic market has fallen fairly steadily since the recent high point in 2010 of just over 185m bottles, although in the previous year the decline was only slight – under 500,000 bottles.
Exports to the rest of Europe were down 3.5% from 80,156,622 to 77,311,391 bottles. They peaked at 91.4m bottles in 2007 and have hovered between 74.7m and 82.3m over the past seven years. What growth there has been has continued to come from countries outside Europe, but even here the volume growth was tiny, just 0.3% equivalent to 220,000 bottles.
As before the USA, Japan and Australia, respectively export markets two, three and six in terms of volume (though the USA became the most valuable export market in value terms ahead of the UK in 2015) are the most important players in this sector. The gap between European exports and those to countries outside Europe continues to close, as the former falls and the latter grows, and is now under 7m bottles. And at the same time, the difference between French domestic sales and all exports in shrinking, last year falling to just under 10m bottles.