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Allegrini 2018
PARALLEL WORLD

If the strengths of Italian wine are the weak points of French wine ... and vice versa

From FranceAgrimer’s study, an overview of Italy and France: what if things are better than the numbers indicated?

From this perspective, the Italy of wine seems to have always some limits and problems, more than the reality shows. It is not about overflying on growth figures that actually mark a fall in volumes (-9% to 16.26 million hectolitres) and a stagnation in values (+3.8% to 6.18 billion euros) for Italian exports, but of giving credit to the sector and its strengths, which, however, for once, it is even our French cousins who recognize us.
As emerges from the study by Deloitte and FranceAgrimer, “Facteurs de compétitivité sur le marché mondial du vin”, which we analyzed here a few days ago, Italian wine, on the basis of the 6 factors examined, is the most competitive in the world, and in comparison with France, our main competitor on virtually all markets, it is interesting to note that our strengths are the weaknesses of France and vice versa.
Italy is the first producer in the world, boasts high yields, a wide range of products, wines capable of meeting the tastes of every market, the triad wine, gastronomy, and tourism are the basis of communication of the country, while marketing and promotion enjoy a certain dynamism, as well as internal consumption, recovering.
On the contrary, the continuous decline in production and yields, the stagnation of sales in volume and that of internal consumption, together with the dependence on imports of entry-level wines, both for internal consumption and for exports, are the weak points of France’s wine.
In this game of mirrors, among the weak points of Italy there is the export-dependence on the trend in the three major markets of the U.S., Germany and the UK, but also insufficient trade margins (the other side of our price competitiveness) to impose our brands, while often the order of magnitude of our companies is not enough to cover certain markets.
France, on the other hand, has one of its main strengths in the notoriety and history of its brands, as well as its designations, together with the great commercial capacity that made it the world's leading exporter in terms of value.

In short, two distinct worlds, in competition, but very difficult to compare, so much so that even the dualism between the two sparkling wine systems does not appear to represent the real situation as you might imagine: It is true that France will close 2018 with 3.25 billion euros of sparkling wines exported, mostly, as you can imagine, of Champagne, for 1.9 million hectoliters, but the growth in volumes will be higher than that of values (+4.4% vs. +4%), which means a fall in price; Italy, on the other hand, supported by the Prosecco system, will close 2018 with 1.58 billion euros of sparkling exports, up 16.3%, for 3.99 million hectolitres (+8.9%).
Despite the evident and obvious strengths of the French wine system, we should focus on the things that we can do better and, according to our cousins, make us even more competitive, looking with optimism the industries and the future.

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