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The director of ICE in Moscow, Pier Paolo Celeste, talks about Russia and Italian wine

“In 2017 we returned to record year 2013 levels, and now in 2018 we are still growing. The market has great prospects for development”
Pier Paolo Celeste, direttore dell'Ice di Mosca

Among the bigger emerging markets, Russia is certainly one of the most interesting markets for Italian wine. In Russia, one foreign bottle out of three is made in Italy, and growth prospects are decidedly positive, as he director of the Italian foreign trade institute, ICE, in Moscow, Pier Paolo Celeste, discussed the situation with WineNews. “The Russian market is growing fast and in 2017 we have returned to the 2013 record year levels. At that year, Italian wine imports amounted to 263 million euros, while in 2017 we reached 255 million euros. To better understand the situation, last year 290.000 bottles of Italian wine came into Russia every day”. Italian wine, therefore, holds A position of leadership, that covers 29% of imported wine, and is strongest especially in the mid-market segment, that is, costing between 4 and 10 euros per bottle, “a section where Italy covers 70% of the market”, explained Celeste. And, the average price range is precisely the largest, which is worth 54% of the total market, followed by the cheaper range (up to 4 euros per bottle), which is worth 39%, while the “upper” range (between 10 and 20 euros per bottle) is worth “only” 6%. Following the more than positive year 2017, things are going well for Italian wine even in 2018. According to Russian customs data processed by ICE, imports reached 61 million euros between January and April 2018, +4, 5% compared to 2017. “One of our country’s strengths is the variety of the offer. What we need now to keep growing more is to continue educating people about this diversity, which is also our mission, together with ICE, which we do in Russia at some key events, such as the Prodexpo Fair, the Borsa Vini, the event “Only Italian”, where we select buyers and importers from all over Russia, which is 58 times larger than Italy, and where there are 16 cities counting over one million inhabitants, “World Food” and Vinitaly Russia. Not to mention the incoming activities for events in Italy, starting from Vinitaly in Verona, where we focus on a rigid selection of traders, selecting only those who have really shown their intentions of buying Italian wine to be imported into Russia, because for us contacts and contracts go hand in hand”.

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