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EU export figures: Germany struggles whilst Hungary and Greece thrive

Published:  14 July, 2023

Wine data experts OENsights has partnered with Eurostat, a Directorate-General of the European Commission, to publish the latest EU wine export trends.

The data has estimated EU wine exports between January and April 2023 to key international markets such as Canada, China, Japan, USA and the UK.

Compared to the same period last year, total wine export value is marginally down at  €3.123bn (-1%) between Jan-Apr 2023, while volume is significantly down at 491,382t  (-11%).

“This is a worldwide trend and the OIV’s data reflects this also. There are specific reasons for each country, but, generally speaking, the data can probably be explained by issues with the supply chain and of course inflation, which means less wine is being transported at a higher price,” said Elias Gagas, co-founder of OENsights.

Even though the cumulative trends are stable in terms of value, when looking at international trade by specific country, more significant changes, both positive and negative can be gleaned.

For instance, Hungary and Greece are in significant growth in Canada, Japan and the UK. YoY exports of Hungarian wine are up by 54% in Japan and 23% in the UK in terms of value between Jan-Apr 2023, and Greece is by 10% in Canada and 7% in the UK.

At the other end of the scale is Germany, which is in decline in terms of value across all five key destinations including -31% in Canada and -21% in the UK. On the surface this may make for unusual reading, according to the OIV, Germany was the only country that had witnessed a rise in wine production level in 2022. However, the specifics of where that wine goes and how it is imported are crucial.

“Producers in Germany will be better placed to explain, but we have seen an uplift in bulk wine shipments from Germany, which could adversely affect the overall export value,” said Gagas.

Furthermore, Germany is one of the biggest wine-drinking nations in Europe, and much of the wine it produces is enjoyed by its very own domestic market, coupled with a drop off across the board from China, previously one of Germany’s biggest export markets.

With the exception of Italy (-3%), all other EU destinations in the research are in growth in terms of exports to the UK by value. 

Generally speaking, quantity follows the same trends as value, with Germany in decline across the board and Hungary on the rise. However, Greece, despite a 7% uplift in terms of value to the UK is down by -6% in terms of quantity.

“In recent years the UK has developed into a premium market for Greece, whereas before the emphasis might have been on cheaply made bulk wine. More and more wineries are being built in Greece and the standard of winemaking is generally improving across the country,” said Gagas.

OENsights are able to provide new and fresh data that would ordinarily take months and sometimes an entire year to compile, and it will be fascinating to see the effects the UK duty hikes have on EU export numbers to the UK. Watch this space.