As we’ve been reporting for the last year or more, the demand for higher quality cognacs (and therefore higher value) continues to rise.  And the latest statistics to the end of July 2013 released by the BNIC have shown that although the volume of cognac exported is slightly down on last year, the value is actually up by 7.3 per cent.

Geographic Cognac Sales per year/hectolitre: Grey Americas, Yellow EU, Red Asia, Brown Other Countries

This is the fourth consecutive year that the value of shipments have risen, despite the volumes shipped being down by 1.1 per cent.  The total value of the previous 12 months shipments is 2.44 billion euros (3.24 billion US dollars).  This has been driven by higher demand from both Asia and North America, and this has made up for a slump in sales to Western Europe.  Asia continues to be the driver of the market, with sales up 8.9 per cent.  However, North America is now the fastest growing market with sales up by 9.7 per cent.

The total number of bottles shipped in the last 12 months is 166 million bottles or 466,400 hectolitres of pure alcohol.

The Cognac numbers

Exact figures to the various regions of the world area as follows:

NAFTA region – 53.4 million bottles

Europe – 43 million bottles

Far East – 62.2 million bottles

Other countries – 8 million bottles.

And when it comes to qualities shipped, the breakdown looks like this:

VS Quality – 72.5 million bottles

VSOP Quality – 70.6 million bottles
XO and above – 23.5 million bottles

The slump in sales to Western Europe has been bolstered by a rise in Eastern Europe, where sales went up by 5.6 per cent.

It’s interesting to see how the new player in the market, Cognac D’Usse by Chateau de Cognac (owned by Bacardi and also producers of Cognac Otard) is attacking the market with their premium quality cognac.  Using almost aggressive (and, we have to say, extremely successful) marketing techniques the brand is ploughing massive effort into become a key player in the market.

D'Usse Cognac Jay-Z

And it certainly seems like it’s working.  But then, how clever to use uber-cool hip-hop artist, Jay-Z as a front man.  And considering cognac is one of the most trendy (if not the most trendy) drink of the moment, you have to give the brands PR guys a hearty slap on the back for their success.  Everywhere you turn right now you see the name of D’Usse Cognac, so it’s certainly working.

Read more on D’Usse Cognac, as well as some of the brands and Jay-Z’s forays into the world of premium cognac.

Sources: bnic.com, reuters.com, bfmtv.com

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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