The Federation for Wine and Spirit Exporters (FEVS) said direct sales to mainland China, France's third-bigger export market, slumped 14.4 percent in 2018 to 1 billion euros after growing 24.5 percent a year earlier.
This decline can be credited to China's economic slowdown in almost three decades in 2018 as the Beijing government battled to cut massive debt and quell a US trade war, raising trade tensions as well.
Despite this decline, French wine and spirits exports topped 13 billion euros for the first time in 2018. Exports to Singapore and Hong Kong have compensated for the drastic decline. Export to Singapore has increased by 8.3 percent at 901 million euros and exports to Hong Kong have increased 12.3 percent at 556 million euros. Both cities act as logistic hubs for China, where the French wine is re-routed to.
The United States has driven the rise, where sales increased by 4.6 percent compared to 2017, reaching 3.2 billion euros. The U.S. market remains the largest for French wines and spirits exports overseas.
Moving forward, wine and spirits exporters maintain a positive outlook despite international uncertainty about Britain's exit from the European Union. French wine and spirits exporters have been preparing for Brexit by building up stockpiles in Britain, with some having reserves to last until September.
Thumnail photo credits: Bloomberg