Beverage & Wine

Trade War: Opportunities for Italian Wine?

Italian wine could take advantage of the trade war between the U.S. and China. After all, Italian wine exports to the Asian giant marked a record increase of +11% at the beginning of 2019. This is what emerges from an analysis by Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti on Istat data on January. The study was made public on the occasion of the announcement of China’s ‘super duties’ against imports from the United States, for a total of 60 billion dollars. The goods subject to duties also include a long list of food and drink products, starting with wine.

ITALIAN WINE EXPORTS TO CHINA ARE GROWING

U.S. wine shipments to China were reduced by 25% in 2018 due to tensions between the two countries. In the same period Italy sold wine to the Asian giant for a value of 127 million euros, ranking fourth among the main suppliers after France, Australia, and Chile. As a result of uninterrupted growth in consumption China has entered the top five wine consumer countries ranking. Considering red wine alone, it is already the world’s largest consumer. It is a strategic market for Italian wine makers, that can be further strengthened thanks to the Silk Road agreement.

TRADE WAR EFFECTS

There is also a wide range of U.S. food products that are already affected by China’s commercial retaliation. These include mineral water, wheat, meat, fruit juices, olive oil, ice-cream, egg pasta, jams, peaches in syrup and tomato preserves, which are very important products within Italian food exports. China’s response to Trump duties is, however, also causing the upheaval of the world markets for agricultural raw materials. Soybean prices, for example, have reached the lowest levels in the last 11 years at the Chicago Board of Trade. This situation has led Donald Trump himself to announce a new aid programme for American farmers, with the risk of further distorting international trade.

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