Sales of French wines and spirits to China fell last year, said the Federation for Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS).
Sales to mainland China, France’s third-biggest export market, fell by 14.4 percent in 2018, to €1.0 billion, reflecting the slowdown in the Chinese economy.
This decrease was compensated for by an increase in exports to Singapore – and to Hong Kong, an important hub for French wine exports in Asia and mainland China.
Worldwide, French exports of wines and spirits rose by 2.4% last year, to €13.2 billion, driven by the strong appetite for the country’s three star products: Champagne, Bordeaux wine, and cognac.
The largest export market remains the United States, where sales increased by 4.6%.
Exports are an essential component of the French wine and spirits industry, which is facing a decline in domestic consumption. In less than 20 years, per capita wine consumption in France has fallen by more than 20 percent, according to the latest figures from the International Wine Organisation.
This decline is attributed to changes in consumption patterns – people are drinking less wine, but better quality wine – and to an increasing taste for competing alcohols such as beer.