French Wine Exports Sour on U.S. Tariffs, COVID19 Crisis

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PARIS, Feb 11 Reuters U.S. tariffs and coronavirus restrictions that shut restaurants, bars and airport duty free stores in many countries wiped 13.9 off the revenues of French wine and spirits exporters last year, industry group FEVS said.

Sales abroad of wines and spirits Frances secondbiggest export after the aerospace industry fell by 2 billion euros to 12.1 billion euros 14.7 billion, the Federation of French Wines and Spirit Exporters FEVS said on Thursday.

We expect activity to pick up in 2021, FEVS deputychairman Antoine Leccia told a news conference. There is some light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination campaign.

Shipments to the United States, the largest overseas market for French wines and spirits and one which represents a quarter of all such exports, slumped 18, or 670 million euros, to 3.1 billion euros in 2020.

French wine and spirits exports had jumped in 2019 as exporters booked sales ahead of the imposition of U.S. tariffs.

The U.S. government imposed additional duties on certain European Union products, including wines from France, as part of a 17year battle over aircraft subsidies between Washington and the EU.

The U.S. market remains the symbol of a year marked by trade tensions and the COVID19 epidemic, FEVS said. It added that finding a solution to the conflict was urgent.

In 2021, French still wine exports excluding spirits such as Cognac to the United States were likely to fall 1.1 billion euros, FEVS chairman Cesar…

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