Cognac shipments and harvest 2019Press


With nearly 98% of its exports being shipped (a growth of +11.4% in value and +6% in volume), Cognac demonstrated powerful development in 2019. In a sensitive international commercial market, the industry had to make short term geographic adjustments their shipments. In total, 216.5 million bottles were shipped from Cognac this year, resulting in a turnover of 3.6 billion euros.

The three major Cognac markets (Europe1, NAFTA2 and the Far East3) are evolving according to the following industry trends compared to 2018:

  • Europe : with 17.4% of shipments, or 37.8 million bottles, this market is -1.5% down in value and -4.1% in volume. Eastern Europe4 (+13.9% in value and +4.3% in volume) offsets the decline observed in the overall European market.
  •  Far East : with 27.5% of shipments, i.e. 59.5 million bottles, this market, driven by China, grew by +3.3% in value and stabilised in volume (-0.9%).
  • NAFTA : with 48.8% of shipments to a total of 105.6 million bottles, this US-driven market has grown by +24.7% in value and +16.5% in volume.

Overall, shipments to high-potential areas (South Africa, Nigeria, the Caribbean5) continued to increase in value (+6.8%) but fell slightly in volume, particularly in Nigeria and in the Caribbean (-3.6%). Added together, these new areas of opportunity represent 6.3% of the total volumes shipped (13.6 million bottles).

France still ranks 5th in the Cognac market with 4.5 million bottles sold in 2019. Overall shipments of VS6 grades (which represent 53.3% of shipments) increased by +14.4% in volume and +26.1% in value, while shipments of VSOP7 (which represent almost 36.6% of shipments) fell by -0.9% in volume and increased by +6.0% in value.

Representing 10.1% of shipments, vintage Cognac stabilised over the campaign with a decrease of -6.6% in volume and a +1.5% increase in value.

THE 2019 HARVEST CLOSED AT TO 845,000 HL PA (Pure Alcohol)

With a yield of 98.7 hl volume/ha for the 2019 harvest (compared to 126.8 hl volume/ha from the previous harvest), i.e. a pure alcohol yield of 10.55 hl PA/ha, the production put in casks8 should be close to 845,000 hl PA9.

Thanks to last season’s exceptionally good climate conditions, it has recovered from the frosty weather of 2017. However, there were once again an episode of frosty weather at the beginning of May which affected around 15% of the vineyard and consequent harvest. Nevertheless, the favourable pre-harvest weather conditions enabled production of cognac close to the target set by the sector. As the development of cognacs extends over several years, the harvest of the campaign can be offset by future harvests.

About the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC)

 BNIC, National Interprofessional Bureau of Cognac, represents, develops and protects Cognac the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in France and around the world. This AOC gives the consumer the guarantee of an exceptional eau-de-vie in the 150 countries where Cognac is sold. Composed of an equal number of professionals in viticulture and trading, the BNIC is the place for consultation and decision-making among the 4,300 wine growers, 110 professional distillers and 280 merchants of the appellation. BNIC serves the interests of those who make Cognac and those who consume.

  1. Europe: European continent.
  2. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement): Canada, United States and Mexico.
  3. Far East: China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand.
  4. Eastern Europe: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine.
  5. Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Cuba, Grenada, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Barbados, Montserrat, Dominican Republic, St. Barthelemy, Saint-Kitts-et-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
  6. Very Special.
  7. Very Superior Old Pale.
  8. This takes into account the volume lost during distillation, what is put in the climate reserves, and what is taken out of climate reserves.
  9. Note: the annual Cognac yield for the 2019 harvest is 14.64 hl PA per hectare.