Allegrini 2024

UIV: No Champagne for Christmas and New Year’s, corks, bottles and paper are scarce

World exports of sparkling wines in the first 9 months of 2021 marked +31% in volume. Made in Italy will be toasted on tables at the end of the year
New Year’s sparkling kings

Christmas holidays will be less sparkling for Champagne in Italy, but certainly not for the market - which is soaring - but because, most likely, uncorked bottles will be missing in Italy for the year-end celebrations. Italian restaurateurs and distributors have sounded the warning bell, in view of Christmas and New Year’s, but the confirmation, as Unione Italiana Vini (UIV) has noted, comes from France. There are no corks, glass, paper and muselets (metal caps) to package the bottles, and it is unlikely - according to UIV - that the situation will be resolved in a short time. But, since Champagne bottles are in trouble, the enormous contingent of Italian bubbles on Italian tables will be strengthened. “Fortunately”, commented the UIV secretary general, Paolo Castelletti, “the situation of the Italian product is very different and, with few exceptions, Made in Italy will be able to manage orders. We are worried about, on the other hand, inevitable increases in the prices of our wine on the shelves, due to the rise in costs of raw materials, electricity and transportation. These increases must be absorbed equally among everyone, not only the production chain”.

According to the UIV Observatory, sparkling wines - which had suffered the most during lockdowns - have instead indisputably marked the pace of recovery in consumption around the world. From January to September, volumes imported into the main countries grew +31%, an over 40% rebound in value. During the July-September quarter alone, the variation in volume registered +50%, compared to the same quarter in 2020. Here are the details by country: in the USA - the main importer of sparkling wine - volume plus sign is more than 40% (1.4 million hectoliters), for a value of 1.3 billion US dollars (+50%). Demand was also substantial in the UK (+32% volume, and one million hectoliters) and in Germany (+20%). Requests reached more than 20% from France, Canada, and Russia, while only the Japanese market remains out at the moment (+ 6%). Italy is doing very well on all the main markets: +36% in volume in the USA, +35% in Russia, +50% in Germany, +30% in France and +16% in the UK. Then in the UK we must add re-exports of Prosecco from Belgium, which has become a privileged customs clearance platform. Today, 15% of Prosecco imported into the UK comes from Belgian ports.

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