• Will the war in Ukraine have serious repercussions on French wine and spirits exports?

    They are to be feared but the proportions remain measured.

  • In 2021, Russia imported almost 198 million euros of wine from our territory.

  • In the same year, the equivalent of 1.5 million cases of 12 bottles of spirits arrived in the land of the Tsars.

The orders were ready… but will remain at the dock.

"There are too many risks in shipping to Russia, we don't know if the products will arrive," says Serge Der Sahaguian.

The general manager of Spirit France, one of the main producers of Armagnac and Calvados, knows it: the war in Ukraine “is bound to have repercussions”.

Which ones?

Until when ?

In what proportions?

It is obviously too early to know.

But some French regions are likely to be more affected than others.

In 2021, Russia imported almost 198 million euros of wine from our territory.

This makes it the 15th market for French producers, according to the magazine

Réussir

, which is based on figures from the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters of France (FEVS).

This is little compared to the United States, which imports 4 billion euros, a quarter of total turnover.

However, the Russian outlet is not negligible.

Especially when it comes to spirits.

In 2021, the equivalent of 1.5 million cases of 12 bottles arrived in Russia, again according to FEVS.

“We achieve 15% of our turnover in Russia and 25% of our profitability.

They buy aged products there, with high added value,” continues Serge Der Sahaguian, whose house notably produces the Père Magloire and Janneau brands.

“What we sold in Russia, it is not obvious that we can sell it elsewhere”, adds the manager of Spirit France, in doubt, without being worried for the moment.

A vision shared by the General Union of AOC Cognac winegrowers, where it is said to “observe how things will evolve because we do not yet have visibility on the impact of the conflict”.

“The Russian market today represents less than 3% of the Cognac market share by volume.

Nevertheless, we are aware of its importance for some of our operators”, we say to the interprofession. 

.

Almost 200 million euros of French wine bought in Russia

On the side of the winegrowers, the consequences of this war are also real.

Of the almost 200 million euros in orders in 2021, the first region concerned in terms of volume is Champagne.

Either the product which had just emerged from a conflict with the Russian authorities concerning the name to be displayed on the labels.

More than 1.7 million bottles of the most famous "sparkling" were exported to the country of the Tsars in 2019, i.e. 13,500 hectoliters.

Either, it is necessary to put into perspective, 1.5% of total champagne sales…

The second most affected vineyard, Burgundy.

In 2021, approximately 7,200 hectoliters of Nuits-Saint-Georges and other crus left for Russia.

"It's the 18th market in volume, the 17th in value", we explain to the

Burgundy Wine Interprofessional Bureau (BIVB).

Again, without minimizing the consequences of the conflict, this situation does not give cold sweats.

If Gevrey-Chambertin does not sell there, it will sell elsewhere...

Russia 52nd destination for Bordeaux

In Bordeaux, the Bordeaux Wine Interprofessional Council (CIVB) also replies that the war in Ukraine “will not have very significant consequences for our exports”.

“With 2,000 hectoliters per year, Russia is the 52nd destination in volume and the 60th destination in value for Bordeaux wines, details the CIVB.

By way of comparison, we export 240,000 hectoliters a year to the United States, or 19,000 hectoliters to Denmark, which is our fifteenth destination.

Finally, even Ukraine is ahead of Russia, in 40th position for exports with 4,000 hectolitres.

“Russia was a more buoyant market more than fifteen years ago, but today it is very small.

»

Still according to the CIVB, “no trading house, nor any owner of Bordeaux, is sufficiently specialized in the Russian market to suffer from the consequences of the conflict.

Not even the… five Russian owners of vineyards identified in Bordeaux.

A drop of water among the 7,000 to 8,000 wine properties identified in the region.

Finally, it is perhaps in Alsace that the repercussions could be felt the most.

“It is our 15th export market but we have been growing steadily since 2015 and +30% in 2021”, notes Foulques Aulagnon.

The head of export marketing at the Interprofessional Council of Alsace Wines (Civa) speaks of a destination that had made it possible to sell 3,700 hectoliters, mainly “Crémant, grands crus and special vintages”.

Today, like everywhere else, the pallets are assembled but no longer leave.

Producers are afraid of not being paid or that the goods will not arrive at their destination.

“It was a market with significant development potential and where our products corresponded to consumer trends… In addition, establishing oneself somewhere is always a long process,” he continues.

With the upcoming surge in certain prices, it's not sure that people are still ready to buy from us afterwards”.

Whether in Russia, Ukraine or elsewhere.

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  • War in Ukraine

  • Export

  • Economy

  • Champagne

  • Alcohol

  • Wine

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