US exports rise over 2012

US wine exports rose to a new high in 2012, particularly in value, with Canada and Europe taking the lion’s share.

CaliforniaExports (90% of which were from California) rose 2.6% on 2011 to hit US$1.43 million. It was the third year in a row that the value of exports rose but volume exports fell to 424.6m litres down from 455.7m in 2011.

The largest market by value was the European Union which rose 1.7% to $485, however, the largest single market was Canada which jumped 14% in value to $434m.

The only market to decrease was Hong Kong, down 30% to $115m, whereas one of the strongest risers was Vietnam, up 22% to $27m.

Wine Institute CEO, Robert Koch, said: “California wine exports continue to increase because of our quality, diversity and value, despite a highly competitive global market, significant trade barriers and a still recovering economy.

“We’ve worked to create more opportunities to export our wines by supporting our government in opening markets with Free Trade Agreements and other negotiations.”

Those trade agreements are taking place around the world as international trade policy director, Tom LaFaille, explained: “The Wine Institute is collaborating with our US government as well as the World Wine Trade Group, the EU and Pacific Rim governments to reduce trade barriers.

“In particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ‘Wine Regulators Forum’ are working to implement good regulatory practices that will protect consumers and facilitate trade in our Asia-Pacific markets.”

Focusing specifically on the UK, the report stated that US wine exports grew 1.6% in value. UK director for the Wine Institute, John McLaren, said he was glad that California had retained its market share despite recent setbacks.

In Canada the focus is on red blends that appeal to younger consumers as well as a growing interest on premium Californian wine.

Major retail promotions are planned this spring in the key markets of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

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