June shipments figures show slight improvement

Stock levels in Champagne’s cellars are currently high

The June figures for Champagne shipments show a slight improvement on the poor results in April and May 2020, as sales picked up in some markets. But the monthly shipment figure of 15.8m bottles, was still down 17.1% compared to June 2019, dropping 3.26m bottles from 19.01m. In the first half of 2020, total shipments were down 29.4%, falling by 32.1m, from 109.3m bottles in January-June 2019 to 77.2m bottles.

While in the month of June the growers’ shipments actually rose 12.5%, thanks to better sales in France and the wider European markets (up 15.3 and 14.6% respectively), in total this represents an increase of only 539,142 bottles. Over the first six months of 2020 however, all three sectors – the houses, growers and the co-ops — are down by around 30%, although in volume terms it is the négociant houses that have taken the greatest hit, losing sales of 23.35m bottles, compared with the first half of 2019.

Sales in France staged a bit of a recovery thanks to the re-opening of some on trade outlets (hotels, restaurants and bars) and actually grew month on month (June 2020 vs June 2019) by 0.9%, but over the first six months of 2020 they are still down by 29.2%, which amounts to a 14.45m bottle loss. Shipments to the rest of Europe were down 31.1% in the year to the end of June 2020, a drop of 8.59m bottles, while countries outside Europe saw shipments in the first half of 2020 fall by 28.2%, which amounts to a 9.07m bottle loss.

The trend is however slightly improving in Europe as shipments to the end of May were down 35.8% in France, and dropped by 33.9% to the rest of Europe, but the shipment position to further flung export markets outside Europe has worsened slightly, it was down 24.7% in the first five months of the year.

The MAT figure for the 12 months to the end of June 2020 shows an overall shipment figure of 265.3m bottles, a fall of 11.1% on the 12 months to the end of June 2019. But the Champenois will be very happy if their sales only fall by this amount in calendar 2020.  

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