The French wine industry is facing several challenges despite a good harvest

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France’s grape growers are facing a decline in sales at home and abroad combined with lower producer prices, despite a bumper harvest last year.

This is due to inflation and the fact that the French are drinking less wine, the Ministry of Agriculture said in its latest market analysis.

The 2023 grape harvest should have given French farmers reason to celebrate. At 48 million hectares, it was 4% higher than the previous year and 8% higher than the average for 2018-2022.

But between August and December 2023, imported wine (AOP) decreased by 7% in volume and 5% in trade value. Exports of other wines fell by 16% and 11% respectively. The volume of imported cognac decreased by 18% while champagne decreased by 17%.

According to the ministry, the prices of grape growers in France fell by 13% between August and December 2023 compared to the same period last year and 9% compared to the last five years. The prices of the only producers of champagne rose by 10%.

The fall in prices has led to a decline in exports and has also affected domestic wine sales, the ministry said. Wine sales in France fell by 4% in 2023 after the same big decline in 2022. Red wine, with a drop of 9%, hit harder than white wine which fell by 4% and rosé which was down 2%.

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