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Germany holding steady, China on the upswing: the first quarter 2022 of Italian wine in the markets

Global shipments at 1.7 billion; in WineNews analysis of Istat data, trends in top destinations
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China’s import of Italian wine returns to upward territory

The first quarter of 2022, net of the reference period, i.e., the worst moment experienced by international trade, when the second wave of restrictions had plunged consumption and morale in a good part of the Western world, marks for Italian wine shipments abroad a growth of +18.3% over the first quarter of 2021, at 1.7 billion euros. On the positive side, figures for all countries considered in the WineNews analysis of the latest Istat data have improved, with the only, predictable exception of Russia.

Proceeding in order, from the closest markets, the European ones, in France Italian wine imports grew by 44.6%, to 57.3 million euros. Also important was the performance of Austria, where shipments grew +39.6% to 29.4 million euros, while Switzerland posted +9.7% growth to 104 million euros. Germany, after a slowdown in February 2022, reverses the trend in the January-March period (+1.1%), for 265 million euros of Italian wine imported in the period. Belgium’s figure was excellent, purchasing 44% more Italian wine (53 million euros) in the first quarter of 2022 than in the same period of 2021. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, the growth is +5.7% to 51.3 million euros.

In Northern European countries, growth is homogeneous and sustained: it ranges from +29.3% of Italian wine shipments to Denmark (45.4 million euros) to +18% in Norway (26 million euros) and +12% in Sweden (49.6 million euros). Still excellent numbers from Great Britain, where pubs, clubs and restaurants, a year ago, reopened on April 12, so it will be interesting, next month, to understand the real extent of this growth, which in the first quarter of 2022 marks +50%, to 170 million euros. Coming, expected but not traumatic, is the slowdown in Italian wine imports to Russia, limited, at least for now, to -4.7% (24.2 million euros): wine, it should be remembered, is not subject to sanctions, except in its top productions, above 300 euros per bottle.

Overseas, the U.S. firmly confirms itself as the top market for Italian wine shipments, which, in the first quarter of 2022, marks a growth of +12.6%, to 403 million euros. Canada also did very well, even accelerating over last month, at +38.9% for 100 million euros of imported Italian wine. Good news from China, which reverses course and returns to positive territory: +5.7%, to 29.6 million euros, a trend in line with the data, surprising, of the Beijing economy, which is back on track on both the shipping and purchasing fronts. Still good is Japan, where Italian wine grows +26.7%, to 44.6 million euros. Finally, small improvements for South Korea and Hong Kong, which grew +5.7% and +7.4%, respectively, to 20.4 and 5.7 million euros.

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