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OIV: 2022 wine numbers (still) revolve around Italy, France, and Spain

The “State of the World Vine and Wine Sector” - vineyard areas, exports, production, and data of the 2023 grape harvest in the Southern Hemisphere

Inflation combined with low economic growth is a global concern and it is in the wine world as well. 2022 was, to say the least, a challenging year, and now the wine world is looking rather apprehensively at 2023 which is in full swing. Pau Roca, the General Manager of OIV - Intern Pau Roca, at the presentation of the "State of the World Vine & Wine Sector", a statistical summary on wine in 2022 at the global level, said, “the conflict in Ukraine and uncertainty concerning the economic trend brings about the vulnerability on the markets, and it is difficult today to imagine that things could go better than in 2022. The only unknown factor is China, as recovery in that Country could help the wine world. Inflation, which reached +8.8% in 2022, will slow down by two points a year in 2023 and 2024. However, each increase is added on to the previous one, and this means that increases in costs may not be over yet for the wine industry. Furthermore, the results of the slowdown in economic growth translate into a decrease in purchasing power for consumers. Wine, however, has all the credentials to react and adapt to future challenges, being also well aware that there is no turning back”, Pau Roca added.

“It is a large and segmented market, and new opportunities always arise from changes - just look at the way consumption evolves. There are problems of overproduction in the most important areas in the world, from Bordeaux to Spain to Italy, especially since the market share of red wine, globally, has dropped to 48%, while whites and sparkling wines are at 43%, and rosés are at 11%. Therefore, opportunities are opening up on new fronts, such as that of alcohol-free wines. We do not know exactly to what extent, but it is essential for the OIV to speak of wine from fermented grapes. Finally, we must pay very close attention”, Pau Roca concluded, “to the role that wine has in society because International health authorities have expressed, on various occasions, some concern regarding the use of alcohol, especially among young people. The OIV definitely believes in and is totally committed to the battle against alcohol abuse; however, wine is also a sector that plays an important economic and cultural role in the rural communities of many Countries”.
In analyzing the data from the OIV report, it is immediately evident that the areas planted with vines, on a global level, now cover 7.3 million hectares. This figure has been substantially stable since 2017, though it is slightly lower (-0.4%) compared to 2021. China has been slowing down for several years now, while Europe, at 3.3 million hectares of vineyards, represents 46% of the world’s vineyards, and has been a constant figure for 8 years when the authorization system for new plants came into effect. There are 93 grape-producing countries in the world, though the first 6 Countries represent 56% of the vineyards, which are: Spain (955.000 hectares, 12%), France (812.000 hectares, 11%), China (785,000 hectares, 11%), Italy (718.000 hectares, 10%), Turkey (410.000 hectares, 6%), USA (390.000 hectares, 5%). Over the past ten years, vineyard areas in Spain, Turkey, the USA, and Argentina have decreased in size. On the contrary, France, India, and Russia have grown, while countries such as China, Italy, Chile, and Australia have remained the same.
Global wine production, in 2022, registered 258 million hectoliters, slightly below the last 20-year average, and 1% lower compared to 2021. The harvest, due to high temperatures and prolonged drought, was generally earlier, but nevertheless, yields in Europe were more than expected, and the Southern Hemisphere produced one of its best harvests. Italy (19%), France (18%) and Spain (14%), together, represent more than half the total wine production, and together with the USA, Argentina, Australia, Chile and South Africa, they account for three-quarters of all the wine produced in the world. Italy is the confirmed leading producer at 49.8 million hectoliters, followed by France (45.6 million hectoliters) and Spain (35.7 million hectoliters). The biggest growth, however, had the largest growth (+63%, enjoying, precisely, the hottest climate), New Zealand (+44%), and France (+21%, after a disastrous 2021, marked by frosts and hail). China, instead, registered the worst drop of all (-29%, to 4.2 million hectoliters).
Global wine consumption, estimated at 232 million hectoliters for 2022, is down 1% compared to 2021, the year when most Countries were experiencing a return to normal, also in consumption, following the 2020 lockdowns. The decrease has been constant since 2018, especially because of China, which has lost 2 million hectoliters of wine consumption per year. On the other hand, rapidly rising inflation held back consumption in 2022, which at the same time pushed up the prices of wine. Consumption in various Countries places the USA at the top (34 million hectoliters), ahead of France (25.3 million hectoliters), Italy (23 million hectoliters), Germany (19.4 million hectoliters), and Great Britain (12 .8 million hectoliters).
Consumption in the European Union amounted to 111 million hectoliters, equal to 48% of total consumption, but in 2000, the percentage was much higher: 60%. South Africa (+16%) and Portugal (+14%) registered the biggest growth in 2021, while the worst drops were registered in China (-16%), Belgium (-14%), and Brazil (-12%). In terms of per capita consumption, then, Portugal leads the way at 67.5 liters of wine per person per year, followed in second place by France (47.4 liters) and in third place, Italy (44.4 liters). These data, Pau Roca said, “needs to be analyzed carefully, because there are various factors to take into consideration, starting from frequency of consumption, the share of consumers on the total population and consumption linked to tourism, impossible to quantify and calculate”.
The international wine trade is a very important topic, as overall exports in 2022 reached 107 million hectoliters (-5%), while turnover was 37.6 billion euros (+9 %). This means that the average price has grown, due most of all to the effects of the war in Ukraine, such as skyrocketing energy prices and transportation logistics, especially in maritime transport. In terms of typologies, still bottled wines account for 57% of volumes (down 4%) and 69% of values (+7%), but the biggest growth is sparkling wines, which have grown both in volume (+5%) and in value (+18%).
The number one exporting country, by volume, was Italy, totaling 21.9 million hectoliters of wine shipped worldwide (-1%), and 7.8 billion euros (+10%) in turnover. Spain, instead, exported 21.2 million hectoliters of wine (-10%), for a turnover of 3 billion euros (+3%), and France 14 million hectoliters (-5%) and 12.3 billion euros (+11%). Only Australia and New Zealand, among the major exporting countries, registered growth in volume, as well as in value, though only +1%. The USA, Germany, and the UK were confirmed as the main wine importers in the world in 2022. Together, they are worth 40% of global imports. The USA imported 14.4 million hectoliters of wine (+3%), spending 7 billion euros (+17%), Germany 13.4 million hectoliters (-9%), for 2.7 billion euros (-4%) and Great Britain 13 million hectoliters (-2%), for 4.8 billion euros (+22%, thanks mainly to sparkling wines, which grew in value +41%). In the other Countries, there were drops in volume and positive signs in value, except for China, which registered -21% in volume and -4% in value. Finally, we must note that the Market Internationalization Index, that is, the wine internationalization index developed by the OIV, revealed that 46% of the wine consumed around the world, in 2022, was imported.

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