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Wine and exports, timid signs of recovery: values at -0.7% in first 8 months 2023, volumes at +0.8%

Istat data, analyzed by WineNews. The negative trend on 2022 becomes less pronounced
Italian wine hopes for year-end toasts to return to export growth

From the markets of the world come faint signs of recovery for Italian wine exports: according to data on the first 8 months of 2023, updated today by Istat, values remain negative on 2022, but only by -0.7% (on -1.2% in the 7 months), 5 billion euros, while in volume there is even a return to positive, albeit by a modest +0.8%, compared to the -1.2% of the figure updated in July, for 14 million hectoliters. All this in a complex situation, then, where the macroeconomic framework and international tensions continue to weigh heavily (despite which Russia continues to grow in double digits, ed.), with the best results coming from the markets of neighboring Europe, while they continue to mark “deep red” both North America, where the U.S., in particular, is still disposing of the considerable stocks accumulated in 2022, but where Canada is also doing badly, more or less due to the same dynamics, and Asia.

Looking at individual markets, and starting with the closest ones, Germany is growing well, at +4.5%, for 763.5 million euros, as is the United Kingdom, at +3.9%, for 522.1 million euros. And while Switzerland, at +2.1% for 266.3 million euros, is keeping pace, so is France, which is +20%, for 212.7 million euros. Down, on the other hand, is the Netherlands, at -4.2%, for 147.4 million euros, while neighboring Belgium is growing, at 151.5 million euros, at +3.9%. Austria, on the other hand, loses something, standing at 84.7 million euros, down 4.8%. Looking at Scandinavia and its environs, on the other hand, Denmark grows, at 103.8 million euros, at +11%, as does Norway, at 72.8 million euros, at +8.9%, while it loses something to Sweden, at 132.6 million euros (-1.4%). Continuing to impress, however, is Russia, which, despite the ongoing war with Ukraine, is even +27.8%, at 90.6 million euros. The sorest notes continue to come from countries outside Europe. The U.S., which still remains the No. 1 market for Italian wine, maintains its downward trend at around -8.1%, for $1.1 billion, and does even worse Canada, which stops at 245.7 million euros, at -17.9%. China, an increasingly “small market” in value, continues to lose, at 63.8 million euros, at -7.9%; South Korea collapses, at -35%, to 34.2 million euros; and Japan also loses, which, with its 126.2 million euros, confirms itself as the reference point for Italian wine in Asia, but still marks -8.1%. Slightly up, on the other hand, is Hong Kong, at +2.6%, but for very small values of 17.6 million euros.

The overall picture, therefore, remains substantially negative, but there are some small signs of redemption. And who knows, perhaps, with an unhoped-for tailspin in the last four months of 2023, which, thanks to the Christmas holidays, are historically worth more than a third of the overall export budget, Italy’s wine industry may not eventually greet another year of growth, after a decidedly uphill start.

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