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France will be top wine producer despite fall in exports

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There was good news for France’s wine industry this week as it emerged the country is set to overtake Italy to become the world’s largest wine producer, although a fall in demand from China has seen exports plummet.

Italy was hit by unusually wet and cold weather this summer.
Italy’s wine sector is a significant contributor to the country’s struggling economy: its 200,000 producers employ 1.25 million people and have a combined turnover of 9.5 billion euros, half of which is raised from exports.

But all is not perfect in France, either. Winemakers may find that shifting the results of their bumper harvest is increasingly difficult with international demand, particularly imports into China, in decline.

The Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS) warned on Tuesday that exports of wine in the first half of the year fell by 3.5 percent in volume and seven percent in value compared to the same period of 2013.

An anti-corruption and frugality drive in China was the main reason, said the trade body.