EU wine exports reach new high of €9.8bn

1st March, 2016 by Patrick Schmitt

Exports of wine from the European Union have reached a new record, totalling €9.8 billion for 2015, primarily due to a growing US market.

European Union flag

EU wine exports for 2015 hit a new high of €9.8 billion from 2.9 billion bottles

According to Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), the past year saw a major upturn in the value of wine exported from the EU after three years of relative stability.

“The European Union remains the most important wine exporter worldwide and, after three years of relative stability, attained its best ever performance in 2015: 21.9 million hectolitres (+3%) or the impressive equivalent of 2.9 billion bottles coupled to an economic performance of € 9.8 billion (+8,9%),” he said.

Continuing, he pointed out that last year’s performance has meant that the EU has a positive trade balance of more than €7 billion, and stressed that exports are key to the future of the EU wine industry.

“With a structural decrease of the EU internal consumption, exports are the key element to maintain the long term sustainability of the EU wine sector” he said.

The value increase can be attributed in particular to a growth in EU wine exports to the US, which were up 18% in value in 2015, ensuring it remains the most important market for EU wines, worth €3.1bn.

In addition, the unit value of EU wines exported to USA is €5.61 per litre, which is well above the average (€4.47/litre), although the more balanced exchange rate between the Euro and the US Dollar partially explains this performance.

The second major growth factor was China, where EU wine exports grew by 26% in value and 29% in volume to reach their highest level ever. This followed two years of declines following the trade dispute between EU and China, which was prompted by the announcement by the EU in 2013 that it will impose duties on imports of Chinese solar panels.

Nevertheless, the unit value of EU wines exported to China, at €2.88/litre, is much lower than the US, due to the volume of bulk wine exported.

96% of EU wine exports by value are accounted for by bottled wines, with the rest made up from wine shipped in bulk with an average price of €0.85/Litre.

Wines with a Geographic Indication (GI) represented 90% of the value and 67% of the volume of total exports.

The EU’s main export markets in value are:

  1. The US: €3.157m (32% share)
  2. Switzerland: €893m (9.1% share)
  3. China: €819m (8.3% share)
  4. Canada: €780m (7.9% share)
  5. Japan: €757m (7.7% share)
  6. Hong Kong: €671m (6.8% share)
  7. Other: €2.736m (28% share)

The EU’s main exporters to China in value are:

  1. France: €556m (€3.39 per litre average unit price)
  2. Spain: €113m (€1.48 per litre average unit price)
  3. Italy: €89m (€3.31 per litre average unit price)
  4. Germany: €22m (€4.22 per litre average unit price)
  5. Portugal: €14m (€2.17 per litre average unit price)

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