ISMEA makes it official: Italian wine breaks record with exports of 5 billion euros in 2013 up 7%

18/03/2014 Spumante also sees growth in revenue and volume by 13%

It is now official: Italian wine breaks the record with five billion euros of exports in 2013 with an increase of 7% in revenue for 5.038 billion euros, but a decrease of 4% in volume of 20.3 million hectoliters. A double-digit increase for spumante, +18% in revenue and 13% in volume. The confirmed data on the entire year, after dozens of fortunately spot-on estimates, comes from ISMEA (Institute of Services for the Agri-Food Market, In spite of the slight decrease in volume, over twenty million hectoliters were shipped abroad, confirming once again the role of the driving force of foreign demand, which absorbs almost 50% of national wine production.

“The increase in volume,” a spokesperson from ISMEA explains, “is linked to the increase in production prices recorded at the beginning of the 2012-2013 productive campaign. Mark-ups which progressively petered out over 2013 until the last quarter bringing the price of wine to levels that were decisively less than the previous year. Almost all types saw a decrease in export numbers alongside a progression of monetary compensation, a particular dichotomy which was evident in the case of unbottled wine (+11% in revenue and -12% in volume).”

Among the different types of wine, the 5.5 million hectoliters of IGP were just under the 2012 levels in quantity (-2%) with an increase in worth, however, of 7%. For the 4.7 million liters DOP wines (DOC and DOCG), the decrease in volume is of 3% contrasting a +5% in revenue. The most affected were the common wines, which dropped 14% in volume to 5.3 million hectoliters compared to 6.2 in the first 11 months of 2012 while in terms of worth, revenue increased by 7%.

“Noteworthy is spumante, which achieved a top performance in terms of volume (+13% for over 2 million hectoliters) in addition to the increase in export value (+18% for 735 million euros). In this segment, the driving force in foreign demand was the ‘other DOP spumante’ (including prosecco) with increases in volume and worth of approximately 27%. Less dynamic is Asti, which stopped at a +3% in volume alongside a 16% increase in revenue. Among the main markets where Italian bubbly was shipped, the United Kingdom stands out with a leap forward of 40% in orders, making it the top buyer in volume. The USA maintains its first place among big spenders with an increase of 13% in demand and 18% in relative cost. Germany, currently in third place for bubbly, has instead reduced its orders by 16% compared to very dynamic Russian orders (+29% in volume and +53% in revenue). Finally, the interest from the Scandinavian and Baltic markets has also grown.”

Overall, the USA remains Italy’s top business partner for wine, in revenue with 1.07 billion euros (+7.1% over 2012) for 2.95 million hectoliters. Germany remains absolute leader in volume, however, with 5.9 million hectoliters but with a drop of 4% from 2012, spending 1.01 billion euros, +6.4%. Ranked in third position is the United Kingdom, which among main markets is also the one which saw the biggest increase in value, +15.4% for 618 million euros, growing also in volume even if by 0.9% for 2.91 million euros.

A contrasting trend in two markets, which the Italian wine world (just as the rest of the world) looks upon with great interest: Russia and China. In the land of the Kremlin, the quantities have decreased by a good 21.8% over 2012 (439.014 hectoliters), while value has shot up by 14.4% (at 114.5 million euros). In the shadow of the Great Wall, volumes crumbled by 32.8% at 219.212 hectoliters also seeing a slight decrease of 3% in value for 74.7 million euros. Significant data, given the great promotional investments, including economic, in the biggest Asian markets which, for Italy, is still worth less than half of that of Japan, Italy’s sixth-rated wine partner (behind Switzerland and Canada following the USA, Germany and the UK), which substantially maintained its value in 2013, with -0.2% (154 million euros), in spite of the slight decrease in volume -3.8% (426.175 hectoliters).