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Austria’s wine exports hold up in H1

Exports of Austrian wine have remained strong in the first half of the year, January to June, with only a small drop in value and actually good growth in volume.

In the six months from January to June 2020, Austria’s wine exports by value fell 1% (much less than feared) and even rose 7.4% by volume.

Austria’s leading export markets, Germany and Switzerland, proved highly dependable, recording volume increases of 14.3% and 31.3% respectively and value increases of 0.4% and 3.5%.

In Germany, Austrian wine is strongly out-performing Italy, Spain and France which have all seen sales declines over this period.

Exports to the US have been less good, down 9.4% in volume and 11% in value, although, again, this is less drastic than the declines seen by other major European wine producers. The value declines for French and Spanish wines in the US from January to June has been reported at over 50% each.

Three other markets that have performed well so far this year are the ‘monopoly’ markets of Sweden, Norway and Canada which have all see big jumps in volume and value sales.

In Canada in particular the results have been striking, volume up 58.9% and value up 47.7%.

Despite these largely encouraging results, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board did note that some 23 million litres of wine has remained unsold due to the widespread closure of the on-trade and the impact on the tourism industry has also been pronounced.

CEO Chris Yorke, commented: “So far, our wines have performed well in export, which of course makes us very happy! Unfortunately, we are not yet able to extrapolate a prognosis for further developments, as the global situation remains too uncertain.

“As always, it is intriguing to take a closer look at individual export countries; so far, Germany and Switzerland have demonstrated positive growth. In the US we have indeed suffered downturns, but far less severely than the wine exporters France or Germany.

“The situation of Austria’s winegrowers currently depends heavily on which and how many channels they use to market their wines. This demonstrates how effectively a diversified distribution structure – utilising multiple channels – minimises risks. This path should be chosen even more consistently moving forward”.

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