Global wine trade hit by rising costs and inflation

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Wine Export Exports Usa France

While international wine trade reached a record high in value terms in 2022, this was down to a sharp rise in prices from higher costs across the supply chain. In volume terms, global wine exports decreased 5% on the prior year.

Very few of the top exporters escaped a decline in volumes, says the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) as it releases the latest figures.

Perfect storm

While 2021 had planted seeds of hope for a post-pandemic recovery, 2022 wine exports were ‘severely impacted’ by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis that generated a strong inflationary pressure on all major economies.

At the same time, global supply chain disruptions led to a ‘significant slowdown’ in sea freight.

“This combination of events resulted in an overall lower volume of wine exported at a much higher average price (+15% compared to 2021), with global wine exports value estimated at €37.6bn, the highest figure ever recorded," notes the OIV.

"However, it should be noted that this sharp rise in prices is mostly driven by the higher costs bore by producers, importers, distributors and retailers.”

In volume terms, global wine exports amount to 107 mhl, a 5% decrease compared to the historically high 2021. Among the top wine exporters, only Australia and Canada did not record a decline compared to 2021 volumes.

One high point, however, has been the 'very positive performance' of sparkling wine - the only category that saw an increase both in terms of volume and value.

"Sparkling wine represents only 11% of the global volume exported but accounts for 23% in global world exports value, making it the second largest category in terms of value after still bottled wine," notes the OIV.

"Sparkling wine has increased by 5% in volume and by 18% in value compared to 2021. France, Italy, and Spain – whose sparkling wine exports represent 17%, 24% and 8% of their total export volumes and 38%, 28%, and 17% of their total 2022 wine exports value respectively – confirm to be the top exporters of sparkling wine."

The average export price for sparkling wine in 2022 was 7.7/l: compared to €4.5/l for bottled wine and €1.8/l for bag-in-box.

Hit to European heavyweights

The international trade of wine is dominated by three EU countries - Italy, Spain, and France - which together exported 57 mhl in 2022 and accounted for 53% of the world wine exports.

In terms of volume, these three countries have all declined with respect to 2021, although to different degrees. Italy exported 21.9 mhl (only -0.6% compared to 2021), and yet Spain was hit with a 10% decrease, coming in at 21.2 mhl exported. France, with 14.0 mhl, recorded -5%.

In terms of value, France remains the first exporter at world level in 2022 (compared to 2021) with €12.3bn (+10.9%), followed by Italy (€7.8 bn, +10.1%) and Spain (€3bn, +3.1%). These three countries account for 61% of the global exports in value.

As with global trends, sparkling wine was a high point with 19% growth compared to 2021 in both France and Italy.

In South America, Chile (the fourth largest exporter in the world) saw export volumes decline 4% compared to 2021 (8.3 mhl) and a 9% increase in value (€1.8bn).

"Among the largest exporters, the country that marked the largest decrease in volume in relative terms is by far Argentina: total wine exports went from 3.3  mhl in 2021 to 2.7  mhl in 2022, recording a -21% decline," notes OIV.

"In Australia, after a difficult year 2021 owing to the significant rise in Chinese tariffs that lead to a -17% in volume and -24% in value, wine trade has slightly increased in 2022 in both volume (6.4 mhl, +1.3%) and value (€1.4bn, +2%)."

Compared to 2021, New Zealand registers in 2022 a larger exported volume with 3.0 mhl (+3.8%) and a sharp rise in value that reached €1.3bn (+16%).

South African wine export volume in 2022 has decreased compared to 2021 by 8.7% reaching 4.4 mhl and increased in value by 4% at €660m.

The US exported 2.8 mhl, a decrease of 14.7% compared to 2021, while export value (€1.4bn) has increased by 11.8%.

Top importers

In 2022, the USA, Germany and the UK maintained the top three positions in terms of volumes of wine imported.

With 41 mhl, together they account for 38% of the world total. In terms of value this is equivalent to €13.1bn , representing 39% of the world total.

The largest importer by volume in 2022 is the US with 14.4 mhl (+3% compared to 2021). The USA ranks first also in terms of value, with 2022 wine imports worth €7bn (+17%). 

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