Jean Balluet

Cognac & Pineaux

Fins Bois


all about Cognac, brandy and more ...™

Bernard Boutinet

Cognac & Pineaux

Fins Bois

Spring 2001

Best of T'News

Prior years in headlines ...

Year 1998: First Headline 02/01/98 was "Rémy Cointreau to remain independent, says the spokesman..."

Key items in 1998: In the industry first, Cognac Paul Giraud places his Internet pages address on the back label of his Cognacs for the European markets.

Siege of Cognac 29/09/98: Protests continue in the Cognac region with blockades tightening around City of Cognac and Jarnac, today. PS: It caught an eye of an American investor Gary Klesch who bought Cognac Hardy shortly after.

Last headline 29/12/98: How about Cognac futures market?

Year 1999: First Headline 01/01/99 Rhode Island joins 22 other states allowing the online and mail-order purchase of beer, wine, and liquor.

Key item in 1999: 18/02/99 With no more delays, EC (European Commission) confirmed end of Duty Free shopping in Europe on 1July 1999.

Last Headline 31/12/99 Natsuko (Torula News correspondent in Tokyo) celebrates New Year with Hennessy XO Grande Champagne.

=knowledge & service

                              Financials     We have assumed, as did the market, that integration of Cognac Martell into Pernod-Ricard will conclude by summer 2001 as a result of VivendiUniversal sale of Seagram group. wpeE.jpg (19009 bytes)

Retail prices  For the past 4 years Torula News correspondents have tracked quarterly retail prices of Cognac for VS, VSOP and XO qualities in France, Germany, Sweden, USA, Canada, Japan and the UK. Our sources were supermarkets, retail stores and e-commerce Internet sites. We used products in 70 or 75 cl bottles as applicable by country, which had clearly labeled quality name of their products excluding special packaging like wooden boxes, carafes or glasses.

XO showed most interesting changes over past 4 years. In France, the high end of the range showed significant increase. In Germany, only the low end showed gain with the top of the range remaining steady. Sweden showed a surprising drop in the low-end prices while the US showed a solid gain at both ends of the range.

Sweden where the prices are controlled by the government monopoly shows steadiest increase in the VSOP prices with a small narrowing of high-low range in the year 2000. VSOP prices in France and Germany show similarity and rise in the past 2 years. US VSOP prices show steady progression upwards after a strange pricing anomaly in 1998.

VS retail price range in France showed a small decline in 2000 probably due to a lower than expected sales (by some 13-15%). In Germany, Sweden and the USA, VS retail price range showed a steady increase.

We expect continuing increase in Cognac retail prices in year 2001. The recent economy performed well and consumers were buying, especially in the USA and Asia. This year, with a slowdown in the USA and some hiccups in Asia, it might be Europe's turn, with its steady Euro-economy, to support this trend. The problem for Europe as a bloc, it is not purchasing enough Cognac. Scandinavia alone won’t do it. General growth in South America and market opening in India should also help Cognac sales.  Mac Andrew

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