Exports of wine and spirits from France dropped sharply in the first half of the year, hit by a dramatic slowdown of demand for luxury drinks in China. Exports of wines and spirits—one of France’s top 10 exports—fell 7.3% to €4.8 billion ($6.2 billion) in the first six months of the year, according to data released recently by the Federation of Wine and Spirit Exporters.
Exports of wines and spirits to China fell nearly 30% as sales of expensive drinks, such as cognac and Bordeaux wine, tumbled.
Exports of spirits fell 9%, mainly due to a drop in cognac exports, which have been hit particularly hard by the Chinese austerity campaign. Exports of wines fell 7%, although growth in Champagne exports helped stem some of the declines for high-end Bordeaux wine.
Exports of Bordeaux wine fell 28% in the first half. China has become France’s main export destination for wine recently. Between 2009 and 2014, exports of wine to China more than doubled as wealthy Chinese began collecting French wines.