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Global wine market grows value sales against static volume

Published:  23 July, 2018

The world’s top 50 wine markets grew 3% in value in 2017 compared with 2016, according to the latest Wine Intelligence Global Compass 2018-2019 report.

Volumes sold remained static across the markets, suggesting that consumers are collectively spending up, reinforcing the trend in some countries towards drinking less but drinking better.

However the reasons for increases in purchase price per bottle varied significantly in rival markets, with the Global Compass report identifying shortages caused by bad harvests in both hemispheres as a driver of price increases.

This, though, was only part of the picture, with “changing consumer preferences and moderating consumption” noted in certain major markets.

The report also highlights the impact of Free Trade Agreements, especially in Asia, that have lowered tariffs and thus prices, but encouraged new consumers into the category.

In terms of specific markets, China and Brazil were both in growth as expanding middle classes increasingly consume wine, with the latter country now recovering from a period of economic stagnation. Online purchasing was cited as a major channel of growth in both countries for wine.

Among the more traditional consuming markets, the US continued to dominate the report’s metrics in terms of attractiveness, down to the value and volume of the market, although the spectre of Donald Trump’s threatened trade war could “possibly end a 25 year wine market growth” in the words of Wine Intelligence’s CEO Richard Halstead.

Germany, Canada, China and France were named as the next four most attractive markets for those looking to sell wine.

The report also reclassified several countries, including changing the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Belgium/Luxembourg from “Mature” to “Established”, reflecting what was described as “consistent negative growth rates in terms of volume”, while markets such as Japan were switched from “”Growth” to “Established” to reflect signs of plateauing sales.

Italy, Portugal and Mexico, meanwhile, were upped from “Emerging” to Growth”.

Halstead said that the world wine market “actually looks in pretty good health at the moment”, with China and (currently) the US continuing to drive demand.

For the UK, the potential impact of Brexit on the economy was noted as a concern, especially in light of the pattern of long-term decline in consumption.