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The United States became the world's biggest market for wine last year, beating France into second place for the first time, as consumption slides in the country long seen as its natural home, and Americans develop a greater taste for it.U.S. consumers bought 29.1 million hectoliters of wine in 2013, a rise of 0.5 percent from 2012, while French consumption fell nearly 7 percent to 28.1 million hectoliters, the International Vine and Wine organization OIV said Tuesday.Over the same period, U.S. consumers raised their consumption by nearly 17 percent to 9.1 liters per person per year.Overall, world wine consumption last year fell by 1 percent to 239 million hectoliters after four years of near stability.French exports shed 3 percent by volume, mainly due to low 2012 output, keeping the country behind Italy and Spain in the ranking of world wine exporters, but it remained the world's top wine exporter in value at 7.8 billion euros ahead of its two main competitors.
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