The wine trade “explodes” in 2021

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While 2021 has been very difficult for wine production (see our 2021 wine production report here), the situation is quite different for wine exports. The very first figures on the international wine trade are rosy, recently published by the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine).

International wine trade, measured in value, in the first half of 2021 increased by 21% compared to the previous year. However, these numbers can be a bit misleading, as exports in 2020 were depressed due to, among other things, covid. Comparing to the last “normal” year, 2019, may make more sense. Progress is still good, up 6%, but not quite as much, which motivates the quotes in the section.

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The big driver is the trade in sparkling wines: up 26% compared to 2020 and 12% compared to 2019.

The value of bottled wines increased by 12% compared to 2020 and + 22% compared to 2019.

The bag-in-box increased by + 9% compared to 2020 and by +10 compared to 2019.

Bulk wine is the odd one out. It decreased in 2021 by 1% compared to 2020, and by the same number (-1%) compared to 2019.

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The country-by-country figures also show some interesting changes.

Imports

Chinese imports fell, continuing the trend of declining role of China.

Strong increases were observed in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Hong Kong and Denmark.

The top five importers, by value, are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands.

Exports

Australian exports have fallen sharply, no doubt due to trade barriers erected by China.

A sharp drop was also observed (compared to 2019) in UK exports, which are mainly re-exports. This, combined with the growing number of imports to the Netherlands, Switzerland and Hong Kong, seems to be a clear signal that Brexit is having a significant effect on global wine trade.

The top five exporters, by value, are France, Italy, Spain, Chile and Australia.

Keep in mind that these are only numbers for the first half of 2021.

All data from the OIV.

—Per Karlsson

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