Bourgogne wine exports to Hong Kong hit a record high last year despite the pandemic, affirming the Asian wine hub’s bullish demand for Burgundy.
During the year, Bourgogne exported 1.16 million bottles of wines worth €67.9 million to Hong Kong, up by 1.7% in value over 2019. This makes Hong Kong the fourth biggest market for Bourgogne in value terms and 13th biggest in volume, according to the latest data released by The Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB.
The French wine region showed remarkable resilience in the market in the face of pandemic and last year’s political unrests. Revenue from sales of Bourgogne wines rose by 1.7% in 2020 to €67.9 million. This is a record figure that comes after 2019, which already showed strong growth, up 8% on 2018.
The growth is encouraging given that French wine’s overall export to Hong Kong suffered drops in both volume and value.
French wines accounted for 62% of Hong Kong’s import turnover. During this period, exports to Hong Kong slumped by 8.8% (47 million bottles), with revenue also diving 17.6% (€780.9 million), impacted by the city’s political situation and pandemic, explains BIVB. ‘
Exports by color
Interestingly, unlike most Asian markets where red wines are favoured, with Bourgogne exports in Hong Kong, consumption is evenly divided between red and white. Hong Kong imports as much red Bourgogne wines (49.8%) as it does white (49.6%). Both colors are doing well, although reds enjoy a higher valuation.
In 2020, the volume of white Bourgogne wine exported to Hong Kong continued to grow, tipping almost 575,000 bottles. Revenue was up as well, at €21.13 million (up 24.6% over 2019).
The growth momentum continued into the first quarter of 2021. White Bourgogne wine exports were up 28.5% by volume and 16.1% by revenue, driven by Chablis, Petit Chablis and Régionale Bourgogne AOCs.
Red wines enjoyed a strong performance, representing 69% of revenue for €46.8 million in 2020, for almost half the volumes exported.
Red Grand Cru Bourgogne in particular is the main driver for the Bourgogne’s export value. Exports shrank by volume in 2020, but still accounted for 21% of volumes of red Bourgogne wines exported to Hong Kong. Their revenue continued to grow, up 12% in 2020 compared to the average over the past five years, accounting for 42% of red Bourgogne wine revenue in 2020.
Over the first three months of 2021, almost all appellation categories showed excellent results for red wine exports, up 98.3% by volume and 83.2% in terms of revenue over the same period last year.
Besides red and white Bourgogne, the region’s sparkling wine, Crémant de Bourgogne wines, is making inroads in the market. The sparkling wine was virtually absent from this market five years ago and is still relatively little-known, had a good year in 2020 accounting for 0.6% of exports, up 11% by volume and 25.4% in terms of revenue compared to 2019.