World cognac sales plunge in 2009

Worldwide sales of cognac fell for the second year in a row in 2009 with a 12.4 percent drop, even sharper than the 6.2-percent fall in 2008, the industry association said on Friday.

Nearly 130 million bottles were shipped last year, compared to 148.2 million in 2008, said the BNIC national trade office, based in the Cognac region of France where the drink is made.

Sales dropped by 18 percent in Europe, 9.9 percent in eastern Asia, 9.2 percent in the NAFTA trade group (United States, Canada and Mexico), and 6.2 percent in other countries.

But demand for cognac surged in the last quarter of 2009 in the United States, where exports rose by 19 percent compared to the same period in 2008. They also rose by 6.2 percent in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Global sales had already dropped in 2008, the first slump in six years.

From 2001 and 2007, cognac sales worldwide soared 36.8 percent.

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