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Italian wine exports in 2022 stop at 7.87 billion euros (+9.8%)

Istat data attest the slowdown in shipments: the effects of inflation are felt, but the reference markets are resisting
The wine market (Credit: iStock)

The export of Italian wine in 2022 comes in at 7.87 billion euros, a new record, but less than the forecast of 8 billion euros that has been widely circulated among observers for months. Additionally, WineNews’ monthly analysis of Istat data revealed a consistent slowdown in exports, which ultimately represents a significant increase of +9.8%. In the second half of 2022, the effects of inflation are felt, which has led to a contraction in consumption in every market and in every product category, obviously including wine.
As we have previously stated numerous times, the trigger was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which drew Europe once more into the drama of war. Due to the fact that Russia is a significant market for Italian products, including wine, and that Russian gas has long been a key source of energy, there will undoubtedly be negative economic repercussions. The surge in energy prices has set off a spiral of price increases that, for the time being at least, are not being matched by an increase in wages, reducing consumers’ purchasing power.
The information on wine export volumes in 2022 is unexpected in a good way: Having decreased by just 0.45% from 22 million hectoliters in 2021, the average price increased to 3.58 euros per liter, 21.9 million hectoliters. Significant differences exist between markets, as is simple to imagine, and if the reference markets of the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and Switzerland closed 2022 favorably, from Denmark, Norway, and China Instead, unimpressive data are delivered.
Proceeding in order, France imported 289.5 million euros of Italian wine in 2022, 25.1% more than in 2021, and this was not just because of Prosecco (and other sparkling wines), which is still worth 107 million euros. This was due to a structural imbalance between production and sales that will inevitably result in the uprooting of tens of thousands of hectares of vineyards. Despite growing less quickly than the average (+5.4%, at 239 million euros), the Netherlands did well. The second destination - both in terms of volumes and value - is obviously Germany, a solid point of reference on the EU market for Italian wine, which closed 2022 at 1.18 billion euros (+4.9%).
Great Britain, after the difficulties experienced between Brexit and Covid, closes one step away from its historical record, which dates back to 2017 (812.2 million euros), with 811.5 million euros of Italian wine purchased, and a growth of 9.4% on 2021. Sweden, among the very few markets to grow sustainably even in the worst moments of the pandemic, exceeds 200 million euros for the first time (209.1 to be precise), up 7.8% on 2021. As anticipated, leaves something behind Denmark, which lost 5.36% compared to the previous year, stopping at 157.8 million euros. Even Norway, which is still a member of the Scandinavian nations, ended the year in the red by -6%, with 110.3 million euros.
Belgium is doing much better, a country through which a lot of re-exported wine passes right on the UK market, through the port of Ostend, where some British large-scale retail chains, after Brexit, have moved their logistics centers: 238 million euros (+8, 9%). Coming to the two markets closest to Italy, Austria achieved significant growth, equal to 17.8%, and closed at 135.6 million euros, while Switzerland, one of the richest countries in the world, where fine wines find an ideal location, growing less (+2.7%), but confirming itself as the fifth destination for Italian wine, at 426.3 million euros, despite a drop in volumes of 6%, to 73.6 million liters, for an average price of 5.8 euros per liter, much higher than the average. It is important to comprehend and analyze the data for Russia, which (+15.8%) imported 172 million euros of Italian wine in 2022, despite everything and net of any triangulations (especially from the Baltic countries).
On the other side of the ocean, the United States is still growing, the first market in the world for wine imports and consumption, as well as for Italian wine, which in 2022 had a turnover of 1.86 billion euros (+8.3%). Even better in terms of growth was Canada’s 2022, which recorded an outstanding +11.4% and proved to be the fourth market for Italian wine exports, with a turnover of 427.4 million euros, surpassing Switzerland.
Finally, Asia, which followed pretty much the same score from the beginning to the end of the year. China still loses positions, closing at just 111 million euros of Italian wine, with a drop of 11.8% on 2021. Japan, on the other hand, represents the most consistent growth among all of the country’s trading partners: +28, 6%, just shy of 200 million euros (199.4 million euros, to be precise). As a last-ditch effort, South Korea closes at 75.6 million euros (+0.6%), a (slightly) positive figure. Last but not least, there is the wealthy but shrinking Hong Kong market, where Italian wine generated a turnover of 27.2 million euros (-7.5%) in 2022.

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