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Continued Growth in 2018 for French Cooperages Despite a Challenging Environment

Posted on October 14, 2019

Paris, France—Growth continued in 2018 for the 58 member companies of the Fédération des Tonneliers de France, with production totalling 670,000 barrels (+2%) and sales totalling 475.6 million euros (+3.2%).

Growth in the world market for new barrels was mainly the result of a changing trend in sales in France. Exports, which accounted for 68% of total sales in volume and 70% of sales in value, remained relatively stable.

After falling in 2017, the domestic market, which represents one-third of sales and continues to be the world leader, rose again, lifted by a healthy cognac sector and a good harvest in Burgundy. A total of 222,530 barrels (+7%) were sold domestically, accounting for 141,543 million euros (+9%).

The countries ranking after France were the same as in 2017: United States, (29% in volume and 31% in value), Spain (7% in volume and 6% in value), Australia (6% in volume and 6% in value), and Italy (6% in volume and 6% in value). The slight drop for the United States (?2% in volume and -0.1% in value) was mainly due to fires in California in 2017. Unused barrels were stored away to be used for the next grape harvest. Spain also experienced a decline, which was mainly due to adverse weather conditions (-8% in volume and -5% in value).

While most of the markets in the southern hemisphere saw a slight decline in 2018, China trended quite favorably, with a 20% increase in volume and a 26% rise in value, the result of the expansion of viticulture in the country.

Lastly, the market for large formats (vats and foudres) confirmed its growth, with a significant increase of 21% in volume and 26% in value.

“Despite weather events that impacted yields, on the one hand, and economic pressures in some markets, on the other hand, the French cooperage industry held its ranking,” said Jean-Luc Sylvain, President of the Fédération des Tonneliers de France. “Everywhere in the world, consumers continue to appreciate premium wines and our clients focus all their attention on quality. More than ever, aging wine in French barrels is a guarantee of strong added value.”

The 58 member companies of the Fédération des Tonneliers de France, representing a combined workforce of over 1,900 employees, are proud to welcome among them the companies of the Charlois Group.


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