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Italian wine soars in the top 12 buyer countries: +7.1% in the first half of 2021

Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor: re-openings and “revenge spending” drive consumption, good results for China, Germany and Russia
Reopenings and the desire to spend make Italian wine soar

Reopenings and “revenge spending” (i.e., the desire to spend after months of closures and curfews, ed.) lead to a new record for Italian wine sales among the top 12 foreign buyer countries in the first half of 2021, with imports growing in value by +7.1% over the same period in 2020, but also by +6.8% compared to 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. Thus the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor, which processed the latest customs data on imports from the 12 main world markets for wine demand, which together are worth about 3/4 of total Made in Italy exports. For Italian wine, which last year had already managed to contain the damage caused by the emergency compared to its main competitors, the increase in this first half of the year represents the sharpest upward trend recorded in recent years, but above all offsets the forced halt of 2020 with interest.

Among the 12 reference buyer countries, global demand for wine also did well, growing in the last year by 8.1%, with France soaring at +26.2%. But, compared to the last pre-Covid period (first half of 2019), it is Italy that wins on the main markets: +6.8%, to almost 2.6 billion euros, against France at +2% (over 3.3 billion euros) and total wine imports still in negative ground (-1.7%, to almost 10 billion euros). Returning to imports of Italian wines in the 12 main markets, in 2020 Italy outperforms the market in China (+36.8%), Germany (+9.3%) and Russia (+29.4%), while it is below average in the USA (+1%, but on 2019 the increase is almost 6%), UK (-0.4%) and Canada (+2.5%). Imports of still wines grew (+6.9%, with the average price rising to +5.9%), while sparkling wines increased sales by 11.1%, with a reduction in average price of 4.8%.

“From the analysis of the data - comments the head of Nomisma-Wine Monitor, Denis Pantini - a sort of “revenge spending” emerges that is driving the world wine trade and that involves wines in the medium-high range, as can also be deduced from the average import prices. A confirmation of this thesis comes from an analysis of the export of Italian and French PDO wines, with Piedmont PDO reds at +24% and Tuscan PDO reds at +20%. The trend is even more evident for French PDO reds, with Bordeaux up 61% and Burgundy up 59%, but also for sparkling wines from beyond the Alps, especially Champagne, which are increasing at +56% worldwide and +70% in the USA. For Veronafiere CEO Giovanni Mantovani, “the sector has managed to emerge, hopefully definitively, from an unprecedented crisis thanks to the fundamentals of its operators, their commercial organization and the strength of the Italian brand. Today, in particular with our symbolic wines, we are at the center of the phenomenon linked to post-Covid “consumption of revenge”: a driving effect to be intercepted and from which to restart by consolidating market shares even more. This is another reason why Vinitaly Special Edition, the business event to be held on October 17-19 in Verona, will be attended by buyers, distributors and foreign delegations from the main target countries for the sector”.

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