In the first six months of 2019, Italian exports of wine and musts continued to grow. The sector exceeded 10 million hectolitres (+9%) in volume, and 3 billion euros in value with a growth of 3% compared to the same period in 2018. Despite the fact that the market is relating to the sale of the products of the abundant 2018 vintage, the average prices of sparkling wines and still wines are holding steady, while the bulk (subject to strong competition from the Spanish product) is falling in price lists (-30%).
ITALY’S STILL WINE: SLOWDOWN IN THE USA
In the first half of 2019, however, Italian exports of still wines to the United States came to a severe standstill, decreasing by 4% in volume (1.1 million hectolitres), with stable values at just under half a billion euros. In particular, these months have been very difficult for white wines, whose sales in the U.S. are falling by 10% in volume and 7% in value, while the red wines sector is keeping pace with a growth of 3% in volume and 8% in value.
Still white and red wine represent a strategic sector that should be defended, protected and promoted even more strongly. This downturn represents a wake-up call for the entire Italian wine sector, which must be listened to as the US market is the first value market for Italy’s bottles. Considering that the risk of additional tariffs by the Trump administration is looming this scenario could worsen in the future.
THE POSITIVE EXCEPTION OF PROSECCO
In contrast to still wines, Prosecco and other Italian sparkling wines sales are going full steam ahead in the United States: exports in the first six months of 2019 recorded +6% in volume and +5% in value. In addition to the USA, the situation of still packaged wines is not positive in Canada. Despite the entry into force of free trade agreements such as CETA, Italy’s wine exports have fallen by 6%, given the growth of France’s (+2%) and Spain’s (+22%).