Sales of Cognac rose by nearly 31% in value to 3.6 billion euros ($4.1 billion), according to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) industry group. Volumes were up 16% to 223.2 million bottles.
Cognac sales to the U.S. — its largest market — increased 11%, with 115 million bottles shipped in 2021. Sales to the second biggest market, China, were up 56% with 34 million bottles shipped, while European sales rose 8% to reach 37.1 million bottles.
“This growth reflects a real recovery of Cognac, as well as new consumption habits,” the BNIC said in a statement. Cognac sales have also increased compared with 2019, before the pandemic struck, the BNIC said.
It helps that the U.S. and European Union last spring agreed to a five-year suspension on tariffs. As part of an ongoing trade war with the EU about aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing, the U.S. had imposed a 25% tax on certain Cognacs and other grape brandies from France and Germany during the first quarter of 2021, in addition to tariffs on other EU goods.