PARIS — France reclaimed its position as the world's leading wine producer last year after losing the top spot to Italy in 2009, according to a study released Tuesday by wine and spirits trade show Vinexpo.
The study, conducted by London-based International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), said France produced 419 million cases of wine last year, making it the top global producer followed by Italy and Spain.
France is expected to maintain its top position until 2014, the study said, despite an expected 5.54 percent average drop in production levels during the same period.
After dropping on average by two percent a year since the 1960s, the decline in global wine consumption slowed between 2005 and 2009 to 1.4 percent per year, the study said. The decline is expected to slow further between 2010 and 2014, to 0.7 percent per year, it said.
French wine exports fell by an average of 1.1 percent in value between 2005 and 2009 and by 9.4 percent in volume, the study said.
The French wine industry has benefited in particular from a huge surge in demand for wines from its Bordeaux region in China and Hong Kong, according to the Bordeaux Wine Council.
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