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At the halfway mark of 2021 Italian wine exports grow by +15.8% to 3.33 billion euros

Istat data, analyzed by WineNews, show the record performance of the USA, Germany, China, Russia and North Korea: is the recovery complete?
Italian wine shipment data

One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but a flock of swallows is a very precise, absolutely positive signal that arrives for Italian wine from the markets, where, at the halfway mark of this 2021 that has become - beyond all symbolism - the year of the relaunch for the Italian economy, shipments mark growth of +15.8% on the first half of 2020, to a quota of 3.33 billion euros, as told by the latest Istat data analyzed by WineNews. And if the comparison with a year that was difficult, to say the least, seems ungenerous, the parallel with the much happier 2019 - when shipments reached 3 billion euros in the same period - restores the measure of the extraordinary nature of this first half of the year: +10%.
Even better data than the month of May, which seem to direct Italian wine towards the definitive recovery of its positions everywhere. The biggest growths, at least in percentage terms, come from Asian markets: China, which since the beginning of the year has zeroed wine imports from neighboring Australia, returns to be an opportunity, while South Korea proves why, according to the “Global Compass” of Wine Intelligence, it is stably the second market of the world for attractiveness. Behind, of course, the United States, where the warehouses of importers have been emptied for a while and consumption is literally flying, just like in neighboring Canada. Also sustained are the rhythms of Germany and Austria that, like Norway and Sweden, are among the few countries that have never interrupted commercial flows with Italy, not even in the months of the lockdown.
Looking at the numbers, as mentioned, at a global level the growth in value of Italian exports was +15.8%, from 2.88 billion euros in the first half of 2020 to 3.33 billion euros in the first half of 2021. In this sense, neighboring France recorded a variation in line with the general figure: +16.3% of Italian wine imports in the first six months of 2021, from 86 to 100 million euros. Germany, the second favorite destination for Italian wine exports, confirms itself as a healthy market: +6%, from 509 to 539.5 million euros. The only sore point, but on the way to total “recovery”, is the United Kingdom: -1.8%, from 305 to 299.4 million euros, far from the 337.8 million euros of 2019. Excellent, once again, the performance of the two most important Scandinavian markets, with Norway scoring +3.7% in Italian wine imports in the first half of 2021 (from 51.5 to 53.4 million euros), and Sweden following with +2.9% (from 97.7 to 100.5 million euros).
Austria is always a very reliable partner, growing by +8.9%, from 47 to 51.2 million euros, above the average of the last three years. Even better, staying in the Alps, is Switzerland, the fourth foreign market of Italian wine, which in the first six months of 2021 saw imports grow by +18.7%, from 167.5 to 198.8 million euros. Spectacular, both in terms of percentage growth and absolute figures, the performance of Russia, where Italian wine has increased by +45.4%, from 39.9 to 58 million euros. As mentioned, the supremacy of the United States has never been so solid, especially after the +18.6% recorded in the first half of 2021 over the same period of 2020, which brings shipments of Italian wine from 724 to 859 million euros. Even neighboring Canada is sailing towards a new record for imports of Italian wine: +13.3%, and values that fly from 148 to 179 million euros.
Finally, the most important Asian markets, where Made in Italy wine still suffers some delay, especially compared to France: China grows by +75.7%, from 37 to 65 million euros, the best result of the last five years. South Korea, which until a few years ago was an unknown destination for many European wines, is today a solid market, however small, and interesting, especially after the +161.2% of the first semester of 2021 (from 17.8 to 46.5 million euros). Finally, Japan, a country much less dynamic than its neighbors, as shown by the small percentage of growth (+2.2%) and the absolute values that have been substantially stable for years (from 76 million euros in the first half of 2020 to 77.7 million euros in the first half of 2021).

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