Allegrini 2018

Wine, Italy holds on in non-EU markets (+5.1%) in the first 4 months of the year. France in decrease

Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor: sprint start in January-February, then collapse in April. Mantovani: “it's time for important choices”
Vinitaly-Nomisma, Italy’s wine markets outside the EU (+5.1%) in the first 4 months

“Well begun is half done”. How true in Covid-19 time for Italian wine in world markets, with the wineries of the Belpaese that, thanks to a sprint start in the first months of 2020, all in all, at least in non-EU markets, have held on. With a balance in the first 4 months of the year that is even growing in the 10 most important non-European markets, which are worth half of the Italian wine exports, especially thanks to the USA and Canada. Unlike France, the Belpaese's main competitor, which, on the other hand, is feeling the effect of the pandemic more strongly. A positive signal, but which does not allow us to relax, also because there are still no data from very important EU markets such as Germany, for example, from which we do not expect positive news.
The data from the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor (from customs sources), which show the start of the year divided in two: the first two-month record-breaking, the second to forget. With an April in full global lockdown and among the worst ever. Overall, measuring the performance in terms of value for the period in the top 10 importing countries (which account for 50% of the country’s exports), Italy scores by surprise +5.1% on the same period of the previous year, thanks to excellent performance in the United States (+10.8%, for 613 million euros, in the first 2 months the figure was +40%) and Canada (+7.1%, for 116 million euros). Deep red, on the other hand, on French wine (-10.1%), in retreat in its key markets in both East and West.
The edge already disconnected in March becomes almost prohibitive in April, where the still botteled wines are experiencing heavy declines in all the markets considered except Canada, Russia, and South Korea. In the fourth month of the year, there was a drop from -5.2% (in terms of values) in Japan to -12.5% in the USA (where sparkling wines were up 6.8%), from -26% in Switzerland to -48% in China, for an overall deficit in the same month of 2019 of -7.2%, against -22.2% in France.
In the coming months, according to the Observatory, the crisis will still weigh heavily on luxury goods such as wine, struggling with a lower purchasing power of demand, in addition to the disposal of unsold goods in restaurants and importers’ warehouses. Without considering the trend of EU demand in April, which, as said, is expected to be more negative.
“This is a decisive moment for the future of Italian wine; the global crisis now requires important choices to be made, “stressed VeronaFiere’s Director-General, Giovanni Mantovani,” which will also influence the long term. This is why Vinitaly has multiplied its observation points and in the months leading up to the Wine2Wine Exhibition&Forum in November will increasingly lead companies and institutions on a shared, multi-channel reading of the market dynamics of our wine in the world”.
However, the Italian loss could continue to be more contained compared to other producer countries: “The data for April - said the head of the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor, Denis Pantini - speak of a market made in Italy that is falling but seems to respond to the crisis more effectively than its competitors. The lack of collapse in the U.S. market, thanks to the additional duties on France, the greater presence of the tricolor product in the overseas GDO, a better price-quality ratio, together with the excellent result in Canada, make the Italian glass less bitter in time of Covid-19”.
According to the analysis, the potential rebound could come in the medium term from the United States - already in the phase of recovery - and perhaps also from China, which, although it was the first to emerge from the pandemic in the last month, has halved its imports probably due to a strong economic downturn marked by the trade conflict with the United States. In the meantime, in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, Italy is gaining market share in almost all importing countries, with substantial increases in Switzerland (from 33.1% to 37.7%) and the USA (from 31.4% to 34.2%). Where from March to the beginning of May sales in the off-trade rose by 31%, particularly in the average price range (11-20 dollars), a segment in which Italy is very present and competitive.

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