Wine Consumption in France Drops Back

At a time when consumption of wine throughout the world is on the increase, the French are drinking less of their national tipple, according to a recent study carried out for Vinexpo the world wine exhibition based in Bordeaux. Between 2001 and 2005 wine consumption across the globe went up by 4%, whilst in France it went down by 11%. Nevertheless, the French still drink more of it than most, with the each adult averaging 64 litres a year, well ahead of the British who on average drink 27 litres and the Americans who drink 13 litres per adult. Italy and Germany rank behind France in wine consumption, followed by the US and UK. The study forecasts that the trend to lower wine consumption in France will continue, whilst other countries will continue to drink more. As a result, it forecasts that, within the next five years, France will lose its place as the leading consumer of wine to the USA and Italy. Against the backdrop of a declining home market, the forecast growth in world wine consumption will come as some relief to French wine producers who suffered from a 12% reduction in exports over the period 2001-2005. The report forecasts that wine consumption around the world will grow by nearly 10% up to 2010, and that French wine producers should benefit from this growth. Indeed, a new record in the total exports of wine and spirits from France was reached last year, but this was in large measure due to the strength of sales of champagne and cognac to China and Russia. In contrast, many wine producers in France at the bottom end of the market continue to suffer a decline in sales and incomes. The United States remained the leading buyer of French wines and spirits, accounting for 22% of all wine and spirit sales. They were followed by the United Kingdom, who purchased €1.46 million of French liquor, an increase of 8% after two years of falling sales.


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