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Italian wine exports, in the first quarter Veneto and Tuscany do well, slight decline in Piedmont

Regional “stock market” of Istat data analyzed by WineNews. Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv): +3.1% in export volumes, France stops at -0.2%

Italian wine exports started the first quarter of 2024 with a positive sign (1.84 billion euros, +3.8 % over the same period in 2023), although it should be remembered that a high-speed start in January was followed by a slowdown in the following two months that did not, however, lead to a negative balance, as of today. An encouraging figure, but one that is still premature to analyze in depth, and one that nonetheless brings back confidence in a sector with many challenges ahead. Going, specifically, and then to the “stock market” of the individual regions, according to Istat data analyzed by WineNews, the three “powers” of Italian wine, and therefore Veneto, Piedmont and Tuscany, which together add up to 67% of Italian wine exports, did not go hand in hand in the first three months of 2024, in comparison with the same period of the previous year: Veneto, the leading region, grew by 5.7% in value, touching €663.3 million; Tuscany also did well (+5.1%) at €281.9 million, while Piedmont declined slightly (-1.9%) and stopped at €266.2 million.
In fourth place is Trentino-Alto Adige, which slightly improves its figure (+0.7%) to a value of 152.651 million euros; Emilia-Romagna’s performance is excellent, making a double-digit leap (+10.8 %) that propels it to 111 million euros in exports, while 2024 got off to a bad start for Lombardy (-10.2 %), which drops to a figure of just over 69 million euros. Abruzzo exceeds 59 million euros in value (+1.4%), with Puglia remaining almost stable (-0.2%) at 53.8 million euros. A negative sign that returns in Friuli-Venezia Giulia (-4% to 46.4 million euros in exports), and that does not even spare Sicily (-6.8%), which shows a quarterly export value of 36.3 million euros. It rises again, slightly, in Lazio (+1% to 20.8 million euros), but both Marche (-6.3%, 15.1 million euros) and Campania (-7.7%, 12.2 million euros) return to negative territory; same in Umbria (-14.6%, just under 7 million euros export value). Positive Sardinia (+2.4%, 6.3 million euros), and excellent performance by Molise (+43.7%, 3.1 million euros), which has in its sights Liguria, which is down sharply (-57.1%, 3.2 million euros). Also down is Calabria (-13.9%, 1.4 million euros), while, despite its modest relevance in the wine market, the figure for Valle d’Aosta stands out (+87.9% at 621,000 euros in exports), with Basilicata, on the other hand, going into double-digit negative (-34%, 557,000 euros).
Despite lights and shadows, therefore, as mentioned above, Italian wine exports closed with a positive balance in the first quarter of this year, in contrast to the general negative dynamics of Made in Italy detected by Istat. The trend balance, also noted by the Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv), indicates a +3.1% in exported volumes (+3.9 % in values, to €1.84 billion) by the Italian wine companies, compared to French competitors that stop at -0.2%. But, according to UIV elaborations based on Istat, the market situation still presents areas of uncertainty. While it is true that all types mark positive value balances, with sparkling wines at +7.3% since January, bottled still wines at +2.7% and sparkling wines at +12.2%, average prices (with the exception of bulk and musts) are still losing steam, a sign that the market is not willing to pay more to compensate for a decidedly light last year in terms of production. Among the positive notes, in this ping-pong of lights and shadows, there is the return to the positive sign for bottled PDO reds (+2.8% value, to 459 million euros), the double-digit increase in Igp whites (+12.7%), and the run of Prosecco (+7.8%) and Asti Docg (+7.5%) among sparkling wines. “The economic context still imposes the utmost attention”, said Uiv president Lamberto Frescobaldi, “we believe that in this very fluid phase it is of particular importance for companies to continue to monitor the markets, but also to watch out for price lists, because the long-term goal remains that of improving the positioning of Made in Italy wine. At the same time, Uiv is convinced that even in complicated phases like this it is necessary not to abandon the path of strategic investments in promotion, innovation and vineyard restructuring”.

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