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Export, Italian record still driven by sparkling wines and Prosecco (which makes +20% in France)

The Unione Italiana Vini - Uiv Observatory, Ismea and Vinitaly on wine exports 2022, at 7.9 billion euros. Still and “entry level” wines perform badly

Sparkling wines continue to be the real driving force behind Italian exports, with +19% in value, which becomes +22% if looking at Prosecco - with the king of Italian bubbles doing an impressive +20% in France, land of Champagne - and a growth in volume as well, amounting to +6% (where the +9% of Asti Spumante stands out), while bottled still wines struggled (-3% volume), with reds suffering, closing at -4% volume and +4% value, against the +12% of whites. In particular, on the reds, volumes in the lower positioning ranges (below 3 euros) are in contraction, while premium wines, especially from Piedmont (+9%), Veneto (+4%) and Tuscany (+6%), are holding up very well and indeed showing good growth. Sparkling wines give up -7% in volume but gain 6% in value. This is the cross-section on Italian wine exports that emerges from the analysis of the Unione Italiana Vini - Uiv Observatory, Ismea and Vinitaly, on the 2022 exports of Italian wine, which, as previously reported by WineNews, according to Istat data, stopped just below 7.9 billion euros (+9.8% compared to 2021), with volumes, however, essentially flat (22 million hectoliters, -0.6%). Photograph on a market that, a note explains, “has also held up to the inevitable as well as partial changes in price lists, but the escalation of production costs has abundantly eroded the margins of the supply chain, especially for entry-level and popular products (up to 6 euros per liter). The final result, also considering the economic situation, is undoubtedly positive for one of the most virtuous Made in Italy sectors in the trade balance, which closes with a surplus of more than 7.3 billion euros. There remains”, the Observatory points out, “the awareness that the trade record is undoubtedly determined by price doping, which is as necessary in order to limit the erosion of margins caused by the cost surplus, as it is dangerous on the consumption front expected for 2023”.
Looking at the year’s performance, in fact, as witnessed by recurring analyses done month by month, there was a sharp slowdown in the last quarter, closing in values at +5% versus +19% in March, +11% in June and +12% in September, while volumes remained in a negative wake (at -3% average since June, with only the first quarter positive). Among competitors, France remained the world leader with €12.3 billion (+11% value and -5% volume), while Italy maintained its position as the top supplier in quantity and second in value, ahead of Spain (€2.98 billion, closing at +3.5% in value and -9% in volume).
Looking at the markets, in the Observatory’s analysis, all the most important ones are growing, starting with the United States (+10%), which is confirmed as Italy’s first export market, with a 23% market share. They are followed, among the top buyers, by Germany (15% share), which rises 5% to 1.2 billion euros; then the United Kingdom (+10%), Canada (+11%), Switzerland (+3%) and France in strong progression (+25%, basically thanks to Prosecco). The picture is different for volumes, down or stationary in all the main destinations (USA at -6%, Germany at -2%, Uk at -4%) with the exception of the transalpine destination (+16%, due to the powerful growth of Prosecco, +20%). Still falling is Chinese demand, which closes the accounts at -28% on the bottled wine front.
For the regional rankings, with more than 2.8 billion euros in foreign sales and a performance over the twelve months above the Italian average (+13.4%), Veneto strengthens its leadership on Italian exports, gaining 36 percent of the national total. The second and third places on the podium are also confirmed, with Piedmont growing at a slower pace (+4.6%, to 1.28 billion euros) and tailed by Tuscany, which closes in line with national results (+10.4%, 1.25 billion euros). This is followed by the 3 regions, collectively responsible for 68.2% of Made in Italy wine exports, Trentino Alto-Adige (-1.1% the result between January and December 2022) and Emilia-Romagna (+8.9%). On the performance front in the main wine regions, the accelerations of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (+39.7%), Marche (+25.9%) and Sicily (+21%) stand out.

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