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UK: Italian sparkling doing well, still wines down. The unknowns of Brexit weigh on the future

WineNews analysis on ICE data in London. Director Roberto Luongo: “Italian wine is leader and healthy, and we hope it will not be “Hard Brexit”
Il vino italiano forte in Uk, ma pesa l'incongnita Brexit

The wine industry in the United Kingdom has a turnover of 20 billion pounds (data from The Wine & Spirit Trade Association). Much of this business is driven by Italian wine, which is the second largest supplier in terms of value and the first in quantity, in the United Kingdom. It is a strategic market for Italy as well as for others, on which, however, of course all the unknowns of a still quite confusing Brexit are beginning to weigh. According to data analyzed by WineNews from ICE in London, in the first 7 months of 2018, Italy exported 145 million kilos of wine to the UK, marking it the absolute first in quantity, but there is also a 15.2 % decrease in volume compared to the same period in 2017. Australia, instead, which is second in volume, grew 8.3% (126 million kilos), while France followed the same dynamics as Italy, and registered a decrease of 12.3%, to 82 million pounds. In value, however, the French dominate, at 480 million pounds (+4.4%), followed by Italy at 330 million pounds (1.71% less), while Australia, at quota 138 million pounds, has grown 12%. The scenario, therefore, despite the positions of European leadership, sees the main supplier of the New World growing more, a trend that could consolidate “if, which none of us hopes will happen, it will then be “Hard Brexit”; that is, no special agreements between the EU and the United Kingdom, which would complicate matters considerably and would benefit the New World and the Commonwealth countries”, pointed out the director of the ICE in London, Roberto Luongo, to WineNews. In any case, Luongo reiterated, Italian wine is still a superpower in the UK, even though there are differences between the types. Italy dominates in volume and overall values ​​in the sparkling wine sector (Prosecco in the lead, ed.), at 143 million pounds exported in the first 7 months of 2018, up on the 134 registered in the same period of 2017 (and a market share of 46%, just ahead of France, at 140 million pounds). This is a substantial increase in value, therefore, countered by a not very small decline in quantity. Still wines are having a much more difficult time, as they yielded 186 million pounds for Italian wineries (compared to 201 in the first 7 months of 2017).

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