The Cognac Board (BNIC) announced recently that global cognac shipments had a strong recovery from August 1st 2014 to July 31st 2015, a record both in terms of volume (3rd best year) and value (2nd best year). This increase in shipments comes mostly from continued growth in North America, especially the United States.
After a satisfying 2013-2014 (2.2 billion euros for 155.5 million bottles), cognac shipments are rising again with a growth of 5.9% in volume and 9.4% in value, for a total shipments of nearly 164.7 million bottles and a turnover of 2.4 billion euros ($2.75 billion). With 97% of production exported to more than 160 countries, cognac reaffirms its position as a leader in French exports.
For the sixth consecutive year, NAFTA leads global sales with an increase of +15.5% in volume and +31.6% in value, which was driven by the United States. As cognac's first market for over 30 years, the United States once again confirms its appeal for the cognac category, with 63 million bottles shipped over 2014-2015.
After a strong decline in 2013-2014, results in the Far East are slightly improving with shipments to -0.3% in volume and -5.8% in value, for a total of more than 49 million bottles imported across the region.
Shipments in Europe have stabilized with -2.2% in volume and +0.5% in value for a total of over 40.1 million bottles shipped. This steadiness is directly related to the recovery in Western Europe, which acted to counterbalance the precarious economic and geopolitical environment in Eastern Europe.
Cognac's shipments have accelerated in new markets, including South Africa and Australia, with +16.4% in volume and +34.6% in value. Together, these new areas of opportunity now represent more than 6% of total volumes shipped with more than 10 million bottles.
Powered by the American market, VS category continues to grow in volume (+8.0%) and value (+21.5%), accounting for nearly half of all cognac shipments.
With over 40% of shipped volumes, the VSOP category also enjoys significant growth with +8.9% in volume and +13% in value.
The healthy state of VS and VSOP sales balances out the decline observed on superior categories: -11.5% in volume and -4.3% in value.
The growth in shipments during the 2014-2015 period achieved the forecasted objectives of cognac professionals for the year, reinforcing cognac's market share in the alcohol beverage sector.