Argentina tops UK off-trade growth in 2016

3rd January, 2017 by Lauren Eads

Argentine wine saw the biggest growth in UK off-trade sales during 2016, followed by New Zealand, according to figures released by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in its Q4 end of year Market Report.

Argentina-Mendoza-Vineyard-with-Mountain-View

Argentina saw the biggest growth in terms of UK sales in 2016, driven by demand for Malbec

While the WSTA said Australia remains the biggest-selling wine producing country in terms of UK sales, Argentina and New Zealand wines showed the most growth in the 12 months to 5 November 2016.

OFF-TRADE

UK off-trade volume sales of Argentine wine reached 20 million litres in volume, the equivalent of almost 27 million bottles – up 32% on the same period last year. By value, off-trade sales of Argentine wines reached £155m during the same period – up 31% on the same period last year. The organisation attributed the growth to UK consumers “going mad for Malbec”.

Argentina was followed, in terms of growth, by New Zealand, which in comparison sold 42m litres in the UK off-trade, up +16% on the previous year.

By value, New Zealand saw growth of 13%, with value sales reaching £401m.

The off-trade growth reported by both countries comes at a time when many of the top 10 countries importing wines in the UK are in decline. In the off-trade Australia, Italy, the USA, France, South Africa, Spain and Germany all posted declines in volume and value sales. Chile was the only other country to see growth, up 3% by volume and value.

ON-TRADE

In the on-trade, New Zealand was the strongest importer, selling 56m litres of wine, up 5% on last year, reaching a value of £145m, up 16%.

New Zealand was followed by South Africa, which achieved a 5% uplift in volume sales to 109m litres, and 8% rise in value sales to £218m.

Italy was the only other country to post growth in the on-trade, with volume and value sales rising by 2% and 4% respectively.

And while Argentine shone in the off-trade, its volume and value sales in the on-trade declined by 8% and 2% respectively.

“We know that large volumes of these sales are down to two particularly popular grapes,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA. “The clean and aromatic notes of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc have gone down a storm with British wine drinkers and it is also clear that the punchy spices in an Argentinian Malbec are proving a real hit too.”

Beale also used the publication of its last report of 2016 to highlight the continued importance of the UK as the “global hub of the international wine trade”, a position which he said needed to be protected following the uncertainties arising from the UK’s vote for Brexit. The UK is currently the second largest trader by volume (behind Germany) and by value (behind USA).

“It is not well understood that the UK is the global hub of the international wine trade, a position we need to ensure we maintain,” said Beale. “The fall in the value of Sterling is having a serious and immediate impact on importers who have shouldered the burden of the fall of the pound until now, but this is not sustainable.

“Any increase in duty, on top of the post-Brexit Sterling devaluation, would have dire consequences on Britain’s wine trade. It is not only consumers who will feel the impact of price rises, but also by more than a quarter of million employees in the world leading UK wine industry.”

Brits currently pay a corking £4bn in wine duty in the UK, around £2.08 per bottle of still wine or £2.67 for a bottle of sparkling wine. This means that for the average bottle on supermarket shelves around 55% of the cost is taken up in duty and VAT. The UK contributes 67% of all wine duties collected by EU member states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Senior National Account Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation McKinley
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more