Is Italian wine in crisis? From the United States to Japan, the map of countries that have reduced purchases

Feb 23 2024, 14:53
A negative balance for Italian wine in 2023. A decline in both volume and value in the countries of the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan, which together represent 56% of Italy's wine exports

Less Italian wine imported by the five main buyers in 2023. The balance is negative both in terms of volume (-4.4%) and value (-7.3%). The USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan, accounting for 56% of Italian wine exports, totaled 4.45 billion euros.

A decline in international markets

Germany is the only country with a positive volume trend (+7%), thanks to a significant increase in bulk wines (+16%), according to data released by the Observatory of the Italian Wine Union, based on customs data. The excess stocks held by distributors weighed on the particularly negative performance of the USA (-13% in volume), followed by Canada and Japan (both at -11%), and the UK (-9%). In terms of value, there is a significant loss of over 10% for the USA and Canada, around 5% for Japan, and 4% for the UK. Germany remains stable.

The average price of Italian wine is in decline (-3%), despite the surplus of production costs for businesses, due to the effect, on one hand, of the growth in bulk wine imports (+9%, where prices, however, drop by -11%) and large formats (+6%), and on the other hand, the simultaneous lower impact of bottled wine (-7%) and sparkling wines, which decrease by 11% in volume, despite a rising average price (+5%), the only type showing an increase.

Market decline and future prospects

Italy must necessarily expand its customer base. These five countries represent almost 60% of the value of Italian exports, compared to 50% for France and 40% for Spain. 2024 is shaping up to be very complex, emphasizes UIV - Unione italiana vini -President Lamberto Frescobaldi, "and with Italian production at historic lows, our companies will have the vital need to raise the unit value of their products, in a macroeconomic context that is not the most favorable."

The decline in the wine market, adds the UIV Observatory, has had consequences in all producer countries, due to a combination of destocking by importers, inflationary crisis, and reduced purchasing power. The global wine import of the top 5 buyer markets closed at 16.9 billion euros, 7.5% less than in 2022, with volumes down by 6.7%. France, the leading exporter, performed worse than Italy in terms of volume (-10%) but better in terms of value (-5%).

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