Allegrini 2018

Osservatorio Vinitaly-Nomisma: slow growth, average price falling and in the U.S. at reduced speed

From Istat data on the export of Italian wine in the first half of the year, and from customs figures, an increase in value shipments of +3.3%

In 2019, Italy’s wine sector is preparing to exceed for the first time the 6 billion euro balance of trade balance structurally active, although in the first half of the year growth (+3.3%, to about 3 billion euro) is less vigorous than in the past, and the average price shows a significant decline, especially in the EU area. Sales in third countries that are subject to free trade agreements (Japan, Canada, South Korea) are growing, while the increase in the USA is lower than the market average and in China sparkling wines are appearing, the only type reported to be growing in the Dragon. This is the update on the wine market of the Osservatorio Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor, which analyzed the six-monthly Istat data on exports and those of customs relating to extra-EU demand in the first 7 months of 2019.
The positive +3.3% in terms of value (ISTAT base) underlies an Italian wine export that suffered in the first half of the year from a sharp slowdown recorded in June 2019 (-7.6%), but above all from a falling average price.
Due in particular to the fall of bulk wine and the simultaneous lower contraction of bottled wine, the average global price is -5.1% over the same period of 2018, with peaks of -7.9% for the EU area. Down all the main European markets, first and foremost the top buyer Germany (-10.1%), whose average price stopped at 1.9 euros per liter. The purchase price also fell in the United Kingdom, to -3.6% (-9.9% for sparkling) and France (-9.4%), which holds the record of low cost (1.8 euros per liter) also due to the effect of maxi purchases of bulk wine. The situation in third countries was less marked, with the United States, Canada and Switzerland growing slightly, Norway and Russia stable, while Italian wine depreciated significantly in Japan and China. Overall, Italian wine in the world (including bulk wine) is sold on average at 2.9 euros per liter, in the EU at 2.3 euros per liter.
According to Veronafiere dg, Giovanni Mantovani, “the trade balance of wine is the one with the highest positive impact compared to all sectors of the made in Italy. A record that must be safeguarded by focusing even more on emerging foreign markets and on the growth of the premium range. For this reason, without prejudice to the indisputable quality of the product, the downward tensions that we are experiencing on several levels are a wake-up call that we will be able to silence only through the growth of business dynamics. Vinitaly's now stable facilities in key countries must also serve this purpose”. For Nomisma Wine Monitor manager Denis Pantini, “among the world's top exporters, Italy's is the fourth best performance in the first half of the year, after New Zealand (+13.2%), whose exports are growing significantly in the U.S. and U.K., Chile (+8.2%) and France (+5.9%), the latter with strong growth in the U.S., U.K. and Japan with increases of more than 10 percent”.
Looking at the Customs data, the increase in Italian wine in third countries continues in the first 7 months of this year, although at a slower rate than in the recent past. Imports of made in Italy whites and reds into the top 10 buyer countries, which alone account for 87% of the extra-EU market, grew by a total of 2.8% in value. Better than competitors (world imports +0.9%), and in particular France, which is paying for the heavy transalpine contraction in China and Hong Kong. The analysis on a customs basis of the Osservatorio Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor, which involved the main non-EU buyers (excluding Russia), also shows how the Italian trend is sustained by the usual sparkling, at +9.8%, and by the increases recorded by the areas subject to recent free trade agreements.
Japan, in particular, which is advancing by 15% over the same period last year, but also Canada, at +4.5% and now close to reaching Switzerland in second place among the top non-European buyers. In the United States (+3%) growth has been halved compared to the value of total wine imports (+8%) and, once again, sparkling wines (+11.1%) improve the Italian data, at +1% of bottled still wines, the latter also timid in the overall demand outside the EU (+1.6%). Chinese imports, mostly blocked in the first four months of this year due to an excess of stocks but above all to an economic slowdown, reduce the negative trend and close, for Italy, to -7.3%. While sparkling wines are the surprise in the Dragon (as in Hong Kong): +6.2% the Italian data, +12.2% the global one.

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