Allegrini 2024

In 2022, marked by the war in Ukraine, exports of Italian wine to Russia are growing: +15.8%

Shipments at 172 million euros, net of triangulations from the Baltic countries. Kiev, more than a year after the invasion, has no time to toast
2022 of Italian wine export in Russia and Ukraine

The legacy of 2022 is a war that, just as the West was putting two years of a pandemic behind it, with all of the associated economic and social difficulties, pushed Europe back for decades. Indeed, following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the Old Continent had enjoyed nearly three decades of peace, albeit difficult at times. At least until Putin’s Russia decided to invade neighboring Ukraine in order to re-establish a political hegemony that had been lost since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, dragging Kiev into a dramatic conflict that has lasted more than a year. And which, in addition to death and destruction, has driven Moscow away from Brussels, wiping out many years of diplomacy and profitable trade agreements.
The harbingers of what was to come, in fact, date back to 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, at that time almost without firing a shot. The European Union’s response was mild, consisting of a list of sanctions that also affected various products from the Made in Italy agri-food sector. But not the wine, which was saved even on this occasion, with the exception of the valuable bottles, which had been imported at a cost of more than 300 euros each. The intention, understandably, was not to jeopardize the Italian wine supply chain, but rather to target Russian oligarchs who support the government and concentrate enormous wealth, including from abroad, and great power in their own hands.
It is not so surprising, then, that 2022, in the end, proved to be a year of growth for Italian wine exports to Russia: in terms of value, the wine production of Italy had a turnover of 172 million euros (+15.8%), while in terms of volume, the figure is substantially identical to that of 2021, at 58.6 million liters. Obviously, these are only direct shipments from Italy to Russia, which are tracked by the latest Istat data on international trade, analyzed by WineNews. Historically, however, a lot of wine, not only Italian, arrives on the Russian market through the Baltic countries.
Calculating the weight of triangulations with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is difficult, but the increase in the volume of imports of all three countries, at +29%, +64.5%, and +41%, respectively, is quite interesting. In 2022, Estonia’s performance deviates significantly from the macro dynamics experienced by Italian wine, resulting in a turnover increase of 5.6 million euros (+31%), 31.6 million euros (+72.4%), and €10.2 million (+36.8%). It’s impossible to say, at least with the data we have, how much of this growth is due to re-exports to Russia, but such results make us think.
Simple, and intrinsically dramatic, the data from Ukraine, which thinks more of resisting the Russian offensive on the Eastern front, than of making a toast: in 2022 shipments of Italian wine to Kiev, thus, collapsed to 35.8 million euros (-35.5%). Better days will come again, those of peace, in which to go back to toasting in a free and sovereign Ukraine, perhaps within the European Union, as Ukrainian citizens are clamoring for.

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