The Inter-Professional Champagne Wines Committee (CIVC) is predicting an exceptional year for 2021, even better than 2019, thanks in particular to a 10% increase in volume of sales abroad.
An overview of the situation with Jean-Marie Barillère, Co-president of the CIVC and President of the Union of Champagne Houses
What are your projections for this year?
Jean-Marie Barillère: We don’t have sales figures for November and December yet – and those are very important months, since they account for nearly 30% of total sales – but nevertheless, we can already announce that 2021 will be a record year in terms of revenue. We should surpass €5.5 billion in sales, which means outdoing our previous record, from 2019, when we reached €5 billion.
Is that related to an increase in production?
Jean-Marie Barillère: No, because in terms of volume, 2021 production should reach 320 million bottles, compared to 298 million in 2019. The rise in revenue comes essentially from the increase in average price per bottle thanks to export sales to well-paying countries, which soared 10% this year. The main increases came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Approximately 40% of champagne production is consumed domestically, in France, and the rest is exported. Then there is the exchange rate effect that played in our favor, because the euro has weakened relative to 2019 levels.
How do you explain the rise in export sales?
Jean-Marie Barillère: Several factors contribute to explaining it: the global revival; a return to almost-normal life and a desire for pleasure with an increase in at-home consumption, as well as a catch-up effect, since a lot of importers have decided to raise their stocks back up to normal levels. Thanks to all of those factors, our order books are full this year.
What are your projections for next year?
Jean-Marie Barillère: For 2022, we should get back to normal growth rates of about 3% or 4% a year, in terms of revenue. Demand can’t keep growing exponentially like it did this year – we wouldn’t be able to keep up!
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