Allegrini 2018

Italian wine companies sentiment: 2019 will be a year of modest growth for wine

Federvini Wine & Spirits Observatory data presented at the meeting in Rome. Predictions following 10 years of growth on the world’s top markets

Italian wine has been on a 10 year long ride of rather tumultuous growth on world markets especially considering the period 2008-2018, which particularly in the last year, however, has slowed down. Nevertheless, 2019, which is now approaching the halfway mark, where trends are pretty much set, should be a year of growth. That is, of course, net of the domestic economy difficulties, as well as having to deal with the international scenario between the more and more confused Brexit process, and the war of duties the US, China and Europe are waging amidst unpredicted flashes. Growth should be moderate, but solid, reaching +5%, confirm 66.7% of companies that took part in the Italian wine industries federation, Federvini, Wine & Spirits Observatory survey, curated by Wine Monitor - Nomisma and Mediobanca, and presented at the Federvini National Assembly in Rome. According to the survey, if the overall turnover of Italian wine grows, 61.1% of this growth will be due primarily to exports.
“The year 2018 has also had its ups and downs. The markets are stable, but duties and other unexpected events can easily create concerns”, the president of Federvini, Sandro Boscaini told WineNews, “and if 2019 had not been a year of tumultuous growth, there would not be no cause for drama. We have just come out of a 10-year run of significant growth, in which we have achieved leadership on many markets. We now definitely need to take a moment to evaluate the situation, consolidate and reorganize, on the promotion aspect too, which wine companies have managed very well, while the institutions have not”.
The numbers confirm that there has been 10 years of growth. From 2008 to 2018 the world wine market registered +4.2% increase, reaching 32.1 billion euros. Italy, on the other hand, on its top markets (which coincide with the largest world importers of wine), in many cases, almost doubled its performance. For instance, in the USA, where exports reached 1.6 billion euros in 2018 (+90% in 10 years), in Germany (971 million euros, +26%), or in the United Kingdom (744 million +107% compared to 2008), and further, Switzerland (367 million, +61%), Canada (354 million, +75%), Russia (265 million, +161%), Japan (166 million, + 48%), France (164, + 88%), Sweden (161, + 104%) and the Netherlands (148, +100%).
Italy has conquered prominent positions in many countries. For example, still wines are worth 33% of the imported wine market in the USA, 43% in Germany, 17% in the UK, 21% in Canada and 37% in Switzerland. Sparkling wines, instead, are worth 34% in the USA, 47% in the UK, 21% in Germany, 33% in Switzerland, 31% in Canada and 45% in France.
The data has revealed how sparkling wines, the driving force of the market and exports over the last few years, have increased their weight. In 2008, bottled still wines were worth 78% of exports, and today they have dropped to 69%, while sparkling wines have grown from 13% then to 25% of the exported value, today. One of the most interesting and encouraging data is the fact that Italy is the only major wine exporting country in the decade, to have seen its world market share grow, from 18% to 20%, while France (which still dominates, at 9.3 billion), fell from 34% to 30%, and Spain slipped from 10% to 9%.
Exports, therefore, have always been fundamental for the growth of Italian wine. However, the current scenarios, and those that can be perceived in the immediate future, require ample thought, starting with the enormous variety of offers and growing competition from producing countries like the USA, Australia, Chile, Argentina and so on. But also the structure of international wine trade in the world, since 73% of companies rely on intermediaries, while only 7.6% of the wineries have their own networks.
The Federvini analysis focuses also on spirits, grappas, bitters and other liqueurs that are part of the history of Italian alcoholic beverages. The United Kingdom dominates this market (6.7 billion euros in exports), France is second (4.5 billion euros), while Italy is at only 970 million euros, and 4% share on the world market; but, it is growing.

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