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WINENEWS ANALYSIS

Export, the recovery of Italian wine in the world begins: first quarter 2021 in line with 2019

According to ISTAT data the drop on the first quarter of 2020 is reduced to -3.9%. Growth in China, Russia, Switzerland. The USA and UK are less scary
EXPORT, ISTAT, WINE, WINENEWS, News
The numbers of Italian wine shipments in the first quarter of 2021

The month of March is not enough to bring the Italian wine export balance back into positive territory, which, in the first quarter of 2021, closes at 1.444 billion euros, down 3.9% on the same period in 2020, however recovering strongly on February, so much so that it is back in line with the first quarter of 2019, the last pre-Covid reference, when shipments reached 1.435 billion euros, i.e. 0.7% more than this early 2021, as emerges from the WineNews analysis of Istat data updated to March 2021. All the main markets are in decline, with the exception of Switzerland, Russia and China, in a decided and constant countertrend.

But let’s start with the geographically closest market, France, where shipments of Italian wine in the first three months of 2021 stopped at 39.6 million euros, down -4.4% on the first quarter of 2020, and -11.6% compared to 2019. In Switzerland, as mentioned, Italian wine grew by 10.5%, going from 85.8 million euros in the first quarter of 2020 to 94.8 million euros in the same period of 2020, however, 2.6% less than in 2019. Germany loses something, going from 269 million euros in the first quarter of 2020 to 262 million euros in 2021, i.e. -2.7%, a big increase (+14.4%) on 2019.

Still sore points from the United Kingdom, where Italian wine imports, in the first quarter of 2021, stopped and 113 million euros, down 19.9% on 2020, and even 32.7% on the same period in 2019: the effects of Brexit, which pushed - or at least sustained - shipments and the race for supplies a year ago, are now being felt in full. Norway also loses something, which in the first three months of 2021 imported wine from Italy for 22 million euros, 9.2% less than 2020, but above (+2.8%) 2019 levels. Identical dynamics for Sweden, which closed the first quarter of 2021 at 44.3 million euros of wine imported from Italy, 13.1% less than 2020, but up 8% compared to 2019. Last European market of great interest, Russia, where shipments of wine made in Italy reached 25.4 million euros in the first three months (+17.1%), showing a big growth (+25.1%) also compared to 2019.

Going then Overseas, in what is the first market of Italian wine, imports from the United States reached 357.4 million euros, marking a decline of 12.1%, decidedly more contained in the comparison with 2019 (-2.7%): here, more than the pandemic, the taxes imposed by the Trump Administration, on the wines of Spain, France and Germany, which gave great momentum, a year ago, to Italian productions and shipments, have weighed. Imports from Canada also slowed down: 72.3 million euros of Italian wine arrived from Italy in the first quarter, 11.7% less than the same period in 2020, but something more than in 2019 (+1.4%).

On Asian markets, China continues to grow, at 28 million euros of Italian wine imports in the first three months of 2021, 66.7% more than a year ago, and 6% less than the same period in 2019. South Korea is still going strong, experiencing a 2021 above expectations: in the first quarter of 2021 imports of Italian wine at 19.3 million euros, 135.4% more than the beginning of 2020, and 111% more than 2019. Still a negative sign, the only market in Asia, for Japan: in the first quarter of 2021, wine shipments to Tokyo lost 8.8%, to 35.2 million euros, also down compared to 2019 (-14.4%). Finally, the small but rich hub of Hong Kong, gateway to so many fine wines and one of the three main locations of wine auction sales: with 5.3 million euros of wine imported from Italy, in the first quarter it gained 15.2% on 2020, down 19.7% on the same period in 2019.

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