Bordeaux gets Chinese hangover

Bordeaux gets Chinese hangover

BORDEAUX - Sales of Bordeaux wines slid by 1.4 per cent last year, with exports dropping by 6 per cent as Chinese drinkers cut their purchases by nearly a fifth, winemakers said Thursday.

While the volume of wine from the southwestern French region sold edged up 0.3 per cent to 557 million litres, or 742 million bottles, by value it slipped 1.4 per cent to 4.24 billion euros (S$7.44 billion), the CIVB association of Bordeaux winemakers said.

Exports fell 2 per cent by volume to 213 million litres, and by 6 per cent in value to 2.14 billion euros.

CIVB president Bernard Farges blamed the slump in exports on "the slowdown in China which has had exponential growth since 2005".

Sales in China fell 16 per cent by volume and 18 per cent by value, a drop of about 60 million euros. China and Hong Kong together account a quarter of Bordeaux's exports.

A crackdown on corruption by China's new leadership has hit sales of Western luxury goods as lavish gifts were often used to curry favour with officials.

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