Chilean wine to become second most imported in UK

By 2021 Chile will have overtaken France, Spain, Italy and the US to become the second most imported wine in the UK after Australia, according to the latest figures presented by Vinexpo and the IWSR ahead of the trade fair organiser’s Hong Kong show.

Wine-producing countries. Chile’s name on wine corks.

Presenting its research in London this week, Vinexpo revealed that the the top five suppliers to the UK in 2016 were (ranked by volume) Australia, USA, France, Italy, Spain, with Chile in sixth position.

However over the five years to 2021, all five are expected to lose volume share in the UK of between 1.8% for Australia to Italy at 5.8%. The USA is expected to lose 3.4% volume in the UK, France 4.3% and Spain 4.8%.

Chile, by contrast, will gain volumes of  2.4% (the equivalent of 1.5m cases), leapfrogging Spain, Italy, France and the US to become the UK’s second biggest importer after Australia by 2021. Similarly, both New Zealand and Argentina will gain volume of 8% and 9.4% respectively, but from a smaller base.

The UK is the world’s second largest importer of wines by volume at 119 million cases in 2016 after Germany with 124 million cases.

Overall, the report shows that consumption in the UK of still and sparkling wines will decline over the next four years, from 132.7m cases in 2016 to 124.3m in 2021.

However this drop will be largely driven by still wines, which is expected to fall from 118.5 million 9-litre cases in 2016 to 108 million cases by 2021. This gradual decline shows still wine consumption per head falling over the ten years 2011 to 2021 from 23.4 litres (129 million litres) to 18.6 litres, forecasts Vinexpo/IWSR.

In contrast, sparkling wine consumption, driven by Prosecco, will remain in growth, having risen from 8.7 million 9-litre cases in 2011 (1.6 litres per head) to 14.1 million cases in 2016 (2.6 litres per head), rising to 16.1m cases by 2021 (2.8 litres), according to the Vinexpo/IWSR 2017 report.


“The increased volume of sparkling wine and a trend to premium still wines will offset the overall decrease in wine value,” said Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo. “While still wine consumption falls its sales value will rise driven by a combination of increased prices, weaker sterling and consumers choosing to ‘drink less but better’ as they trade up to premium wine segments.”

The still and sparkling wine business in the UK was worth $16.89bn in 2016 and is expected to reach $18.70bn by 2021, demonstrating a continued trend toward premiumisation. As a result, consumption of value and low-priced wines (0-$5) will fall 6.9% by 2021 and standard priced wines ($5-10) by 2%, while premium wines ($10-20) will rise by 3.3%. As similar pattern was recorded globally, with premium wines (US$10-20), expected to increase by 18% in the four years to 2021.

However despite consumption falling in the UK, globally consumption of still wine is expected to rally by 2021, returning to reach 2.65 billion cases – a figure last seen in 2011 – although value will reach a new world high of $224 billion.

Significant growth is expected in China which is expected to overtake Italy by 2021 as the fourth largest market for still wine, with its value expected to rise by over one third to $23 billion (39%) over the next five years to become the second most valuable market in the world after the US.

Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo.


While still wine consumption volume is in decline, spirits volumes are in growth, albeit marginally, driven by the rising popularity of gin, Scotch whisky and rum.

Total spirits consumption is set to rise from 32 million 9-litre cases in 2017 to 33 million cases by 2021, with growth, like wine, forecast within the premium segment, while value and low-priced brands will fall away.

Per capita consumption is likely to remain constant at 5.7 litres.

By 2021, vodka consumption is expected to fall 4.15% to 7.4 million cases, while blended and malt Scotch will rise by 1.2% to 6.2 million cases.

Gin is set to rise 6.5% to 5.2 million cases and rum by 2.4% to 3.5 million cases. US whiskey will show strong growth of 4.2% to reach 2.3 million cases.

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