19 Feb 2010

Champagne exports down

9:12 am on 19 February 2010

Exports of champagne fell by almost a third last year as overseas sales of French wines and spirits recorded their biggest ever annual decline.

Exports of champagne fell 28% to 1.6 billion euros last year.

France is the world's largest exporter of wines and spirits. However, total exports of wine and sprits declined by 17% in 2009 to 7.74 billion euros ($US10.5 billion).

The Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters blamed the global recession and consumers in Britain and the United States turning to cheaper New World brands.

Global sales of cognac declined 15.6%. Exports of French vodka grew by 13.7% last year.