France’s wine and spirits exports reached record high in 2022 thanks to inflation, making it the second largest export after aerospace goods, according to data released by the Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS).
The total exports reached €17.2 billion, up by 10.8% over 2021, but volume declined 3.8%, mainly affected by smaller wine production of the 2021 vintage.
“This positive result in 2022 marks the resilience of the industry in a particularly complex environment. Despite the challenging geopolitical context and the revival of inflation, French wine and spirits companies have been able to adapt,” said César Giron, Chairman of FEVS.
In the US, exports of wine and spirits increased by 14% to €4.7 billion, despite lower volumes (-5%). This momentum is particularly visible for sparkling wines (+20%) and for spirits (+13%). Still wines exports also rose (+9%) but remained hampered by the low availability of the 2021 vintage.
Exports to the UK increased by 7% in 2022 to €1.7 billion, driven by the performance of Champagne (+12%). Still wines saw their value increase (+7%) while volumes declined sharply (-8%), reflecting the impact of the 2021 frost. Spirits exports value decreased slightly (-5%).
Asia grew slightly in 2022, to €3.9 billion (+5%). While Japan and South Korea are very dynamic (+23% and +31% respectively), China is sluggish (+0.5%) and Hong Kong decreased strongly (-29%). The strict lockdown measures that continued in 2022 have certainly weighed on the region’s performance over the past year.
Worldwide sales of French spirits led by Cognac grew by 11.6% to €5.5 billion, with volumes up to 55.7 million cases (+2.2%). Wines reached €11.6 billion (+10.2%), for 135.4 million cases (-6.6%). Champagne had the sharpest growth in 2022, up by 20% in sales to €4.2 billion.
“2022 was a complex year: the political and economic environment contributed to higher prices and to the revival of inflation. In addition, companies had to deal with the impact of the 2021 low harvest” recalls Giron. “We had to relearn how to work in an inflation environment, even if the exchange rates helped us to some extent”.
“Our 2022 performance reduced the France’s trade deficit by 10%. More than ever, public authorities need to pay duly attention to these sectors and companies which, year after year, support the country’s economy”, said Giron.