FRANCE – French wine and spirits exports experienced a decline in 2023, totaling €16.2 billion (US$17.5 billion), representing a nearly 6 percent drop from the record set in 2022.  

The Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS) attributed this decrease to inflation affecting consumer demand and distributors in the critical U.S. market clearing existing stocks. 

While 2023 marked a ‘soft landing’ after a surge in demand following the COVID-19 pandemic, it still represented the second-highest level of exports. 

French spirits faced a 12 percent decrease in sales worldwide, amounting to US$5.14 billion, with volumes dropping by 13 percent to 48.4 million cases. Wine exports reached US$12.09 billion, a 3 percent decrease, with volumes down by 9.4 percent to 122.6 million cases. 

The United States, as the largest export market for French wine and spirits, experienced a 22 percent reduction in imports from France to US$3.85 billion.  

In the UK, export value maintained at US$1.82 billion in 2023, with sparkling and still wine sales remaining stable, while spirits maintained both value (up 2%) and volume (down 1%). 

Wine and spirits are one of France’s biggest export earners. The sector has become increasingly reliant on foreign sales as declining domestic consumption has hit some production areas such as Bordeaux, contributing to recent protests by farmers. 

FEVS President Gabriel Picard acknowledged the challenges posed by high inflation and declining consumption, primarily linked to reduced disposable incomes.  

“In this context, the reduction of overstocks in some markets – notably in the US – has resulted in a decrease of wine and spirits exports in volume,” he noted. 

Picard emphasized the importance of adapting to changing consumer and market demands, urging public authorities’ strong and lasting support.  

He emphasized the need to open new markets and prevent closures, especially amid trade retaliatory measures. 

“This decline is a wake‐up call for exporting companies. It reminds us of the continued need to adapt to changing consumer and market demands. It also demonstrates how much the sustainability of the export success of wines and spirits requires a strong and long‐lasting support of the public authorities,” said Gabriel Picard. 

FEVS, comprising approximately 550 wine and spirits exporting companies, accounts for 85 percent of French wine and spirits exports. 

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