Champagne producers blame Brexit for 2016 sales decline

Have the bubbles burst because of Brexit?
Have the bubbles burst because of Brexit? Credit: Alamy

Sales of champagne fell last year as a weaker pound weighed on British demand in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote, France's main champagne industry body said on Monday.

Sales to Britain, still the biggest export market by volume, fell 8.7pc to 31.2 million bottles, the CIVC industry association said. By value, British exports tumbled 14pc to €440m (£381.16m).

Britain's June vote to leave the European Union caused sterling to fall against the euro and to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, although it has since edged back from those lows.

Bottles of champagne are displayed at a wine store in Paris

Global champagne sales fell 2.1pc by volume to 306 million bottles in 2016, while order value fell 0.6pc to €4.71bn. The decline also reflected continued economic weakness in France, where sales fell 2.5pc to 157 million bottles, the CIVC said.

However, champagne shipments to the US, the second-largest export market, rose 6.3pc by volume and 4.9pc by value.

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