Champagne Producer Wants To Cut Production In 2009
It's the old case of supply and demand. With bottles still sitting in their cellars many producers may want to scale back production. This is bad news for the growers who are paid for the grapes they sell. It may also be shortsighted depending on which way the economic winds of change blow. Is it better to have too much product sitting in your cellars waiting for the buyers whose pockets are now empty or is it smarter to cut production and bet that the next year won't bring a rapid increase in fortunes (and by association, Champagne drinking).
For years, Champagne sales were high as more and more of the world's drinkers quaffed the bubbly. But by last October Champagne sales were down for the first time in a decade and it's only gotten worse since then. Domestic sales were down by a third in the first eight weeks of 2009 and exports are down over 40 percent to both other European countries and the U.S. and Japan. Champagne always gets associated with the exuberance of fortunes, with extravagance and freespending and suffers in downturns as a result.