Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Wine, first quarter 2024 shows positive signs (in volume) for exports to China, down Japan

Oemv: Beijing imported 3.6% more, for nearly 60 million liters, March raises hopes for recovery in value. Tokyo, imports at -10%

We had already talked, on WineNews, about signs of recovery and improving forecasts for the wine market, after a 2023 not the best. Early analyses, of course, but something is moving, as shown also by the trend for bulk, bringing confidence back to the sector. And then there are the numbers that say how in the first quarter of 2024 Italian wine exports, globally, reached 1.84 billion euros, +3.8% over the same period 2023, with positive results from the leading market, the United States, but also from Asia, as shown by the growth of China (+8.6 %) and Japan (which is close to 8 %).
Still far from the numbers it once had and the huge potential the market expected, China is recovering from its role as the “big sick” of wine. As we read from Oemv (Observatorio Espanol del Mercado del Vino) data, China imported 3.6% more wine in the first quarter of 2024, or nearly 60 million liters. Of course, there is a gulf from the more than 200 million liters in 2018, but in the last fifteen quarterly surveys only in 2010 (56 million liters) and 2023 (60 million liters) had lower numbers been found. Looking at the “half-full” glass, one can say how Chinese purchases are finally on the rise after several years of very heavy losses. An increase in volume, however, which is not matched by that of the value of purchases, which fell 6.4% to 1,766 million yuan (just over 224,000 euros, ed.), the worst figure for a first quarter since 2010. However, this decline is much smaller than that recorded in 2023 (-15.2%) and March 2024 (+1.7%) broke a streak of 6 consecutive months of declines.
From China to Japan, where the situation is more worrying. In contrast to what happened with Italy, on a general level, the Asian country in fact reduced its wine imports by about 10% in the first quarter of 2024, to 49.6 million liters and 50,950 million yen (about 291,000 euros, ed.), at an average price 1.6% higher, and thus at 1,026 yen/liter (5.9 euros, ed.). It was the worst first quarter in volume since 2011, although the second best to date in value, after 2023, even though Japanese import performance deteriorated significantly in value over 2023, when it had grown 2%. Bag-in-box is becoming relevant in Japan as it is the only wine that has rebounded in volume and the one that has increased the most in value.

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