Good news for Italian wines in Germany

Importing 723,000 hectolitres, sales of packaged wines in this country surpassed the United States
Good news for Italian wines in Germany

The glass is half full. Italian wine and grape must exports reached 6.42 million hectolitres between January and April 2014, which represents a year on year growth of 1%. Furthermore exports were worth 3% more than in the previous year.

Whilst there has been reduced international demand for cask wine this year, the demand for packaged wines is slowly increasing. Cask wine export volumes are down 4% and this has been coupled with a big drop in export revenues, due to falling prices. Early 2014 saw the price of Italian generic wines, which are predominantly exported by the cask, fall by 23% according to the Ismea price index. At the same time, the average value of cask wine exports fell by ‘just’ 14%. This state of affairs has not been helped by direct competition from Spain, where the price of cask wine is in freefall. Not all international markets for cask wines reported negative growth. There was some good news with increases of 9% in France, 6% in the Uk and 32% in the Czech Republic. However, due to a very disappointing year in principal end markets this was not enough to reverse the downturn overall. In Germany, for example, which has traditionally been the number one importer of Italian cask wines, export volumes fell by 11%, along with a whopping drop in revenue of over 30%.

Things look better for packaged wines, with a 2% growth in volumes and revenues up 4% in early 2014. Over this same period, sales of packaged wines in Germany surpassed the US, making Germany the number one end market in the sector, importing 723,000 hectolitres which equals a 9% year on year increase in volumes and 8% higher revenues. Conversely, the US market saw something of a downturn, with the quantity imported down 3% against last year to 713,000 hectolitres, and financially the market was worth 1% less.

Italian sparkling wines continue to perform well, with 16% more sparkling wine exported between January and April 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, with takings up 14%. This success can be wholly attributed to the rise in demand for fine Dop-certified sparkling wines, including Prosecco, which saw 37% year on year growth. Meanwhile, demand for Asti fell by a disappointing 20%. Across the board international exports of Italian Dop-certified wines are level with last year, whereas Igp-certified wines are up slightly at 1% growth. Here too Igp-certified packaged wines have seen 2% growth as opposed to a 4% drop in exports of cask wines.

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