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The three export markets for wine to watch in 2019

Prowein has released the results of its annual survey which focuses on the future of the global wine market.

Researchers at Geisenheim University in Germany surveyed more than 2,300 experts in the wine trade from 46 countries on a number of different issues including international wine markets, marketing trends, developments in online wine sales and the economic situation.

The study covers the complete value chain of wine. Respondents included both wine producers (wine-growing estates, wineries, cooperatives) and intermediates (exporters and importers) and marketers (wholesalers, specialist retailers, hotels, and gastronomy), creating a “unique barometer” for the industry.

Each year, Prowein asks people which export markets they think are most attractive to their businesses. They are asked to rank their appeal on a four-point scale from -2 (not attractive at all) to +2 (very attractive).This year, China finally surpassed Japan as the most attractive export market for winemakers worldwide

American exports to China rose in the first half of the year, despite the increased import tariffs China’s government slapped on US wines, while South Africa’s Glenelly winery, founded in 2003 by Bordeaux vintner May de Lencquesaing, considers the country its single biggest export market.

Australian wine exports to China soared more than 50% to AU$1 billion (US$777.2 million) in the past year, thanks in-part to an import tariff reduction at the beginning of this year.

And in the UK, food and drink exports to China grew by 28% in 2017 to £564.4 million (US$783.6 million) in value.

People who took part in Prowein’s survey also said that they expected China’s appeal to exporters will only intensify in the coming years.

But as well as singling out the biggest export markets, Prowein’s survey also looked at those which could become big players by 2024.

Those who took part in the research were asked where they see “potential for their company in the next five years.” The countries were then ranked by the percentage of people who registered an interest in exporting to them.

The resulting list of new emerging wine markets is headed by smaller, easily governable and easier to build up markets that are relatively far developed in economic terms and stable.

However, one in four of the polled producers  said they are still hesitant at present, and do not plan to begin targeting these emerging markets over the next five years.

Keep scrolling to see the small but perfectly-formed markets with the biggest potential for exporters, and the three markets which are losing their appeal.

Method: The ranking of emerging markets is based on the percentage of those surveyed who said they were interested in selling wines in those regions. The ranking of those in trouble, however, was based on a four-point scale from -2 to +2.

3. Taiwan (28%)


Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan

Taiwan imports of wine and spirits in 2017 posted steady gains to US$867 million, up 4% compared to 2016, according to the Global Trade Atlas.

Wine consumption in Taiwan also reached record highs in 2016 at 20.2 million litres; in value terms, the market was worth US$152 million.

France and United Kingdom are respective market leader for wine and spirits. In 2017 France enjoyed a 53% share of Taiwan’s total wine imports and United Kingdom a 65% of spirits.

2. Czech Republic (33%)


The Czech Republic was noted for registering “remarkable growth” for Georgian wine imports alongside Japan, and Poland, Kyrgyzstan earlier this year, despite having a smaller base.

Although Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world, 150 litres annually, wine is increasing in popularity. thanks to relatively low excise taxes and a lack of advertising restrictions, according to a report carried out by the International Wine Show Prague in 2016.

1. Singapore (37%)


This year, china finally surpassed Japan as the most attractive export market for winemakers worldwide, but industry insiders believe Singapore will be the market to watch over the next five years.

Polled over the highest potential for new wine markets over the coming five years, wine exporters mentioned Singapore, the Czech Republic and Taiwan most often.

Last month global wine investment advisor Cult Wines opened its first office in Singapore.

Singapore’s wine market could grow by 5.1% over the period 2016–2021 from US$1b in 2016 to reach a market value of US$1.4bn by 2021, according to recent data published by analytics firm GlobalData

And three in trouble, based on a four-point scale from -2 to +2…

3. Italy (0.26)


According to the annual survey, Italy is set to see a further decline in appeal for producers next year.

This is largely down to Italy’s status as a powerhouse of producing popular, affordable wines exported around the world. Italy is the European leader for certified wines, accounting for 543 of the 1,586 total, followed by France (435), Greece (147), Spain (131) and Portugal (40), according to financial firm UniCredit’s industry report this year. In 2017, DOP and IGP wines made up two-thirds of total output, with a value of production of €6.8 billion.


2. France (0.19)

While France’s own exports continue to go from strength to strength, it was perceived as becoming one of the least attractive countries for budding entrepreneurs and winemakers overseas, according to the survey.

US President Donald Trump recently ignited a spat between the US and France by criticising France for its tariffs on US wine imports, which he claims are preventing US producers from selling their wines in France.


1. UK

The London Wine Fair is the UK’s biggest wine trade event (Photo: LWF)

It’s no secret that the UK is in the midst of increased economic uncertainty, which may explain why its overall attractiveness has dropped in Prowein’s survey with a score of -0.5 points this year.

“The attractiveness of the UK wine market has deteriorated,” the report said, “while the perceived risk has gone up.”

The UK also posts the worst expected development until 2021, according to the survey results. This has been blamed on a combination of rising alcohol tax and increased competition from craft beer and spirits producers, which have made the UK market “increasingly difficult for producers.”

“Add to this the economic and legal uncertainties caused by the imminent BREXIT, the modalities of which have still not been clarified yet.”

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