For the fifth straight year, cognac exports continued to grow in 2018-2019, reaching their highest levels ever in both volume and value, the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) reports. The period saw 211.1 million bottles shipped, with a value of 3.4 billion Euros. In addition, cognac secured the addition of 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) of vineyards over the next three years.

With exports accounting for 98 percent of production, cognac has consolidated its development this year, with shipments growing by more than 2.5 percent in volume and nearly 6.9 percent in value. Representing nearly a quarter of the total value of French wine and spirits for export, it tops the list of major appellations, it adds.

With 97.7 million bottles shipped in the period (an increase of 8.8 percent in volume and up 17.6 percent in value), the NAFTA zone continues to grow (46 percent of shipments). The United States once again drove this dynamic gain with 94.3 million bottles shipped in 2018/2019. The American taste for cognac largely is due to the long history of cognac in this market, consistent investments by the cognac houses and the popularity of cocktails in the United States, the BNIC states.

Over the same period, shipments to East Asia stabilized at 60 million bottles, representing 28 percent of shipments (down 1.5 percent by volume and up 1.8 percent by value). Producers and shippers in the cognac sector remain confident about the significant potential for development in the region, driven by the Chinese market, and the appetite of a culture that appreciates the excellence of French know-how and the image of a top-quality product, according to the BNIC.

In contrast, shipments within Europe are down 4.6 percent in volume and 6.4 percent in value, respectively, for a total of more than 39.4 million bottles. However, the strength of the Eastern European market (which is up by 4.2 percent in volume and up 3.5 percent in value) offsets the decline observed in the overall European market. France, the fifth largest market for cognac, still is growing (up 9.3 percent in volume and down 23.8 percent in value), but Germany, in sixth position, and the United Kingdom, in fourth position (and traditionally the leading market in the European Union), are down by 6 percent and down 6.7 percent by volume and up 5.2 percent and down 4.1 percent by value, respectively. BI