Allegrini 2018


The world wine trade in the first five months of 2015 shows shadows and lights. The lights are China whose import flows - after a disappointing 2014 - seem to have recovered (+ 51% in value, + 38% in volume over the same period in the previous year); the shadows instead are Russia that has plummeted more than 35% in value and 25% in quantity in wine purchases from abroad, reveals the Nomisma Wine Monitor’s latest analysis (www.winemonitor.it).
“The devaluation of the ruble following the drop in oil prices has dealt a blow to Russian importers”, said Denis Pantini, head of Nomisma Wine Monitor. “Oil is one of the major resources of the country and more than the European sanctions related to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, it was the collapse of black gold prices that cut the spending power of Russians. The stalled economy and consumption of foreign wines is likely to last much longer”. Economists forecast another two years of low oil prices strengthened by the recent agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue. The effects include resuming exports of this commodity from one of the main producing countries in the world, resulting in increased product on a market that is already oversupplied.
The result is that on a market where wine imports have grown 122% in just five years (between 2009 and 2014), exporters from around the world’s dream of a new wine Eldorado is in danger of literally vanishing. The decline was significant and in within the average even for Italian wines – the import value of Italian packaged wine fell 36%. Competitors have not done any better. France reported a 45% reduction, making it clear that the crisis has first hit medium to high tier wines.
The reduction in commodity prices has affected not only the ruble but also the currencies of New Zealand, Australia and Brazil - albeit in a less traumatic and sudden manner, especially for two of the biggest wine exporters in the world New Zealand and Australia. Reducing the purchasing power of their currency can only enhance the competitiveness of their wines, thus making life more complicated for Italian and European producers, claims Wine Monitor.
Unlike Russia, the other big emerging market par excellence, namely China, seems to have recovered from the drop recorded in 2014. The first five months of 2015 show over 50% growth in value of wine imports, mainly driven by still and bulk wines. Australia has taken the lion's share (+ 134%) in this case, while Italian wines must make do with + 18%. At this point, everyone is hoping that the trend consolidates and that the dreaded "bubble" that hovers over the Chinese stock market does not impact the real economy of the country.
Leaving aside the emerging countries, and having a look at the more established markets, the US has recorded + 23% in value of imports connected to + 2% in volume (indicating that more than growth one should talk about revaluation of the dollar against the euro, as this increase in estimated local currency results in a slight reduction of 0.5%). The performance of Italian wines are above the market average, 10% growth in volume, largely due to the "phenomenon" Prosecco that has driven imports of sparkling Italian up to 48% more in quantity. The success has affected even the British market, where this wine is literally over the top: + 64% quantity imported in this period 2015 compared to the same period last year. W, let’s have a look at the bulk wine segment.
“After Spain flooded the world market in 2014 with its overproduction resulting from a more than generous harvest in 2013, plummeting prices of all bulk wine, including Italian, Spain still does not seem satisfied”, concluded Pantini, “and even in this part of 2015 has registered 19%, increase in export volumes of bulk wine while continuing its strategy of reducing sales prices (14% less than 2015)”.

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