Allegrini 2018

The impact of Covid-19 on U.S. wine: account of 400 million in March, 4 out of 10 jobs lost

Sales fell (-63%) and visits to the winery (-75%). To get back to normal, according to the American producers, it will take three months
The impact of Covid-19 on U.S. wine

Seen from here, the United States is first of all the main market for Italian wine exports. But it should never be forgotten that it is also one of the main producers in the world, with an average share of 9% of the world’s wine, far from Italy, France and Spain, but still significant. And so, the US wine industry, united in the “WineAmerica” association, has to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic. Literally, because, as emerges from an analysis of more than 1,000 overseas producers, which represent 10% of the entire wine industry, divided into 49 countries, in March the losses already amount to more than 40 million dollars which, if multiplied by ten, means a total cost that exceeds 400 million dollars, or on average more than 37,376 dollars per company, divided between production decline, collapse in sales and wine tourism, canceled events and unforeseen expenses.
But the crisis is also having an important impact in terms of jobs, because if in normal times an American company has an average of 10 employees, today 4 remain at home, despite the fact that production continues in 80% of companies, albeit at a slower rate than usual in 67% of cases. In terms of tourism, if every year 26 million Americans visit wineries, for an average of 24,000 visitors per company, the drop in March was 75%, with an average of 4 events canceled. But the worst damage, as it is easy to imagine, comes from the collapse in sales: -63% in March, with expectations for April that speak of a -75%. Adding to the bill also unforeseen expenses, which amount to an average of $ 776 per company, so far, as mentioned, the cost of the Covid-19 for the month of March alone was $ 37,376 per winery. Finally, the recovery time that, if companies returned to full productivity by April 30, could be about three months to return to normal business levels in terms of number of workers, visitors and sales.

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