The trade organisation for Champagne has flagged a return to pre-Covid levels, after shipments dipped 8.2% in 2023, compared to the previous year.

According to Comité Champagne, total shipments in 2023 reached 299 million bottles, close to the 297.3 million bottles shipped in 2019.

Looking back at the trends over the past three years, the Comité said sales in 2020 fell 18%, owing to the pandemic. They bounced back by 33% in the following two years, to reach 325 million bottles in 2022.

Both domestic and international sales were down 8.2% each during 2023, with domestic bottles totalling 127 million and exports at 172 million. Exports now account for 57% of total sales, compared to 45% 10 years ago, the organisation said.

“The overstocking by distributors, for fear of shortages in 2022, partly explains the decline between 2022 and 2023 results,” the Comité said.

Despite the drop in volume, the Comité reported an increase in value for cuvées, especially within the export markets, which has enabled the appellation to maintain sales above EUR6 billion.

Maxime Toubart, president of the Syndicat Général des Vignerons and co-president of the Comité Champagne, “welcomes this return to market stability. Champagne is a protected appellation produced within a delimited area and governed by strict rules that make it impossible to sustain strong growth in volume over the long term”.

For David Chatillon, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne and co-president of the Comité Champagne, “the decline was to be expected – but with the value maintained, Champagne is still optimistic for the future, whilst remaining sensitive to the geopolitical context and the state of the global economy”.

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