US ‘most attractive wine market’, report finds, as China falls out of top five

The US regained its title as the most attractive wine market in the world, despite the threat of escalating trade tariffs between the US and some of its key markets – but China fell out of the top five.

According to the latest Global Compass report published by Wine Intelligence, the global wine market grew 1.2% in the last 12 months, to USD 204 billion, despite volumes falling 1.7% (IWSR) as the value per bottle of wine rose.

Although the US’ sustained volume growth of the past decade has largely subsided, the US’s success came on the back of the willingness of American consumers to trade up and pay more for the wines they buy, even though categories such as craft beer and spirits are competing more strongly for a share of individual’s alcoholic beverage consumption.

However, Luis Osorio, senior project manager and editor of Compass, said the key uncertainty was how the global trade picture was likely to change in the next 12 months, with tariffs featuring prominently in this.

“An escalation of the Trump tariff war and the threat of a disorderly Brexit are known factors, but unquantifiable at the moment given the range of possible outcomes they represent,” he said.

However he added was good news that more people are paying more money for their wine around the world than ever before, even though large numbers of wine drinkers are moderating their consumption.

The five most attractive countries for wine comprised the USA, Canada, France, Germany and The Netherlands, which moved from 9th place in 2018 to fifth this year. However China moved from third place in 2018 to sixth due to its first sustained decline in imported wines in five years and slowing economic growth and Russia tumbled down the rankings on the back of major volume and value declines.

South Korea also made it into the top 10 for the first time and there was growth from India, who made it into the top forty for the first time. Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovenia also saw growth on the back of a broadening market for imported wines and positive economic performance.

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