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WINENEWS ANALYSIS

2021 begins with the handbrake pulled: in January wine shipments at -21.6% on 2020

Istat data show the gap between the record start of 2020 and the difficulties of today. Export stopped at € 388 million. The USA and UK bad, Canada good
EXPORT, ISTAT, January 2021, MARKETS, WINE, News
Italian wine export in January 2021

2021 of Italian wine exports begins with the handbrake pulled: in January, according to Istat data, analyzed by WineNews, wine shipments lost 21.6% compared to the same month of 2020, stopping at 388 million euros, compared to 495 million euros a year ago. Merciless numbers, but expected, because 2020 had started off with a bang, up even +13.5% compared to January 2019, and 2021, on the contrary, was born under a very bad star, with the Horeca channel still struggling with forced closures in almost all of the West. Thus, the beginning of 2020 seems like a very distant time: we were still in the pre-Covid era, the U.S. market had to deal with duties on many French and Spanish wines, and Britain was beginning the supply race in view of Brexit.
January data confirms what was anticipated (here) yesterday by Denis Pantini, head of Nomisma Wine Monitor, from the talk “Vivite” of the Alliance of Cooperatives. In the first two months of 2021, on the markets of Third Countries, the trend of Italian wine shipments was mixed, but the drop in the USA was clear: -26.1% in value. The good start in Canada was comforting (+4.6% in the first two months of 2021 compared to 2020), as was that of China, up 12.7%. Japan was also on the upswing, albeit by a small 0.9%, but Australia (+15.3%) and Brazil (+18%) also did well, while the percentage increase, albeit from much smaller values, was impressive in South Korea (+78.9%). On the other hand, countries such as Switzerland (-5.8%) and Norway (-12.8%) were decidedly negative.
Going back to ISTAT data, which also give the absolute figure, in value, for January 2021, the United States lost 36.7%, stopping at 105 million euros of imported wine, compared to 166 million in January 2020. Things are definitely going better in Canada, where Italian wine is growing steadily: +13.3%, to 25.6 million euros. In Europe, the first market is that of Germany, which marks an important drop: -12.7%, to 69 million euros. A vertical drop, but it was by far the most expected, for Great Britain, which lost 36.4%, stopping at 26 million euros. Switzerland also lost something, confirming the expectations of Nomisma Wine Monitor: -5.6%, to 23.6 million euros.
Remaining in Europe, France continues to decline, losing 33.1% in January, stopping at 8.9 million euros: the crisis is also biting French producers, who certainly do not need to import from Italy the large quantities of bulk wine of recent years. Austria is also down, losing 16.2%, with 6.7 million euros of wine imported from Italy. Russia, as often happens, offers an interim figure, identical to January 2020, at 6.5 million euros. The boom of Scandinavian markets ends, in a numerically traumatic way. Sweden stops at 12.4 million euros, down 11.4%, while Norway does even worse, losing 31.2% and settling at 5.3 million euros.
Finally, the Asian markets, which are particularly interesting in this phase, given that the war against the pandemic, albeit with all the necessary distinctions, has been won in the whole continent. In reality, the numbers are not so gratifying for Italian wine, which is growing again in China, but only by +5.9%, to 7.2 million euros, but is slowing down in its first market, Japan, where it lost 32.3%, stopping at 8.8 million euros. South Korea performed well, confirming the good momentum of recent months, growing by 40% in January 2021 to reach 3.5 million euros. Finally, the rich market of Hong Kong, privileged gateway to Asia for fine wines from all over the world, including, of course, those coming from Italy: the start is slow (-15.4%), with 1.1 million euros.

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