Global sales of cachaça fell by 3.2% in 2013 to reach a record low of 79.38m cases, according to data from a new IWSR/just-drinks report.
The slip was due to the continued decline in the Brazilian domestic market, which accounts for 99% of all cachaça sales. The report, released this week, states that this is the first time in recent history that the total category has fallen below 80m cases.
The domestic market has shrunk by 18.4m cases since 2004, and fell by a further 2.6% in 2013 to 78.6m cases.
The export performance also offered scant comfort to producers of cachaça: While international sales grew by 1% to 805,000 cases in 2013, this actually represented a slowing in export growth.
Between 2008 and 2013, cachaça exports had achieved a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7%.
On the positive side, however, cachaça's five largest export markets, Germany, Portugal, the US, France and Chile, all recorded growth in 2013. Sales in Germany increased from 277,000 cases to 285,000 cases, while sales in Portugal rose from 82,750 cases to 84,000 cases and the US saw volumes increase from 75,000 cases to 79,000 cases.
The export market that showed the strongest growth over the past five years is the US, with a CAGR between 2008 and 2013 of 5%. Germany now accounts for 35% of cachaça exports, followed by Portugal with 10.3%. The US and France each account for 9.7%.