China sales help Bordeaux wines turn around two-year slump

22nd March 2016, Comments 0 comments

Bordeaux wine sales are beginning to recover from a poor harvest in 2013 thanks to robust sales to China, the industry said Tuesday.

Exports were up 3.0 percent to 1.83 billion euros ($2.05 billion), according to the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB).

Sales to China, the top export market, jumped 37 percent after dropping two years in a row.

Overall turnover was 3.8 billion euros last year, up 1.0 percent over 2014 with 640 million bottles sold.

"The very weak harvest of 2013... still affected sales in 2015," said CIVB president Bernard Farges.

A frugality drive in China that made officials wary of opening high-end bottles of wine also depressed sales in 2013 and 2014.

But Saint-Emilion wine merchant Philippe Casteja said last month that the Chinese market was stabilising.

Speaking of the Bordeaux region in general, he said: "The Chinese speak of a 'new normal' -- and now instead of proposing exceptional wines we are targeting a consumer market."

© 2016 AFP

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