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These are the 5 most attractive export markets for wine right now

Trade show group Prowein has published its annual survey which puts a microscope on the global wine industry.


The survey looks at current sales trends around the world, and predicts which countries will be particularly important to producers over the next year.

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).

The ranking is based on producers who either currently export or plan to sell their goods abroad over the next year.

This year, China, Canada and Australia have risen to the Top 7 while South Korea, Poland and Switzerland dropped in the listing.

Keep scrolling to see the five biggest export markets in the world right now.

5. USA (0.95)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US is one of the most appealing markets for winemakers, although it has slipped in the ranking by one place.

The US is New Zealand’s most important export market. Last year the total value of New Zealand wine imported to the US reached US$422 million, up 6% on 2016 and surpassed only by Italy (US$1.9 billion) and France (US$1.8 billion). In terms of volume New Zealand is followed by Australia, Spain, Argentina and Chile.

Wine is currently the fastest growing British export, (see table below) rising by 177% in value since 2014, and its beginning to prove popular stateside, according to the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department of International Trade’s (DIT).


4. Scandinavia (0.95)

Despite losing 0.01 of its score in the ranking, Scandinavian countries are still among the most attractive placed for producers to sell their wines. Sweden, for example, is one of the biggest markets for Burgundian winery owners alongside the US.

3. Hong Kong (0.97)

Hong Kong has slipped in Prowein’s ranking, having held 1st place last year.

White Bourgogne exports to Hong Kong saw a notable rise in volume in the first 11 months of 2017.

Despite accounting for only half of the total volume, reds’ value still contributed to 79% of the total export revenue.

In fact, Christophe Perrot-Minot, owner of Burgundy’s Domaine Perrot-Minot in Morey‐St‐Denis told the drinks business earlier this year that Hong Kong is a top priority for his business, and its appeal will only get “better and better.”

“You have more people who are educated, and the demand grows year after year. A bright future for me and all Burgundy. [It’s] just the beginning of the story really, the market will increase more and more in a few years,” he said.

It’s appeal hasn’t gone unnoticed by emerging producers in the UK. English sparkling wine estate Rathfinny appointed a distributor in Hong Kong in July 2018, and its first wines went on sale there in September.

2. Japan (1.0)

Coming in 2nd place is Japan. Earlier this year we reported that Japan is set to overtake the UK as second biggest export market for Champagne by value. Prowein’s report on Champagne exports released in march 2018 showed a marked rise in exports to Asia.

“The third biggest market in value is Japan, which has growth by 21% in value and 18% in volume [in 2017], meaning that it is now a bigger market than Germany in value and volume,”Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the UMC (Union des Maisons de Champagne) told the drinks business at the time.

Japan overtook Germany last year in value terms by the end of 2016, although the German market remained bigger in volume.

Producers across Europe are also expected to show more interest in Japan in the coming years. Japanese trade officials signed a deal with the European Union in July eliminating nearly all tariffs on products traded between the two sides, including wine and spirits.

1. China (1.08)

Asked about the current attraction of markets exporters and wine producers rate China as the globally most attractive export market.

China is fast becoming a focus for many countries. 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.

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