THANKS TO RECORD SHIPMENTS IN APRIL, THE BALANCE IS BEING RESTORED IN THE COGNAC SECTOR
In April 2021, the Cognac sector witnessed record shipments, totalling 18.9 million bottles. After just over a year of health restrictions, the balance has been restored with shipments up 7.0% over the past 12 months. Bolstered by this strong growth dynamic, Cognac professionals are reasonably optimistic for the remainder of 2021 and are hoping for the permanent abolition of US taxes on French wine and spirits.
The Cognac sector witnessed record shipments in April 2021, totalling 18.9 million bottles. The delay in shipments accumulated due to the COVID health crisis was thus absorbed. Over the past 12 months, the Cognac sector’s annual turnover reached 3.2 billion euros with 213.1 million bottles of Cognac shipped, representing a 7.0% increase year-on-year.
This result reflects Cognac’s strong growth dynamic in its markets, the gradual phase-out of health restrictions, and Cognac stakeholders’ strategic decisions regarding shipments.
It should be remembered that the Cognac sector witnessed a strong decline in shipments at the onset of the health crisis in March, April and May 2020, followed by a recovery in key markets from summer 2020 onwards. This growth helped mitigate the fall in annual turnover, down 11.3%, which is lower than that forecast at the start of the pandemic. Excellent results were recorded in China, particularly during Chinese New Year, and the US market confirmed very strong growth, with shipments further increasing by 20.7%, i.e. 116.8 million bottles, over the last 12 months.
Despite the damage caused by frost, which also impacted the Cognac vineyards, the sector is confident that it will continue to expand in 2021.
The only point of contention concerns current transatlantic disputes. The United States and Europe announced their decision today to open negotiations on transatlantic disputes regarding steel and aluminium. This announcement offers a more positive outlook from 2021 onwards. However, nothing is certain until a final agreement has been reached. It is absolutely crucial that tangible decisions are made during President Biden’s visit to Brussels on 14 June. Cognac professionals are calling on the French and European authorities to do everything in their power to ensure that wines and spirits are no longer the collateral victims of entirely unrelated trade disputes.