spiritsEUROPE, the representative body for the spirits industry at a European level, has described 2022 as an 'exceptional year' for EU spirits exports, which saw 16% growth, and were valued at €9.74 billion.
However, the trade body has date that the outlook for 2023 is more pessimistic, due to high inflation, rising production costs and growing geopolitical tensions.
spiritsEUROPE made the announcement in its annual trade review, which was launched at an event in Brussels that hosted EU policymakers and stakeholders.
'An Exceptional Year'
“2022 was an exceptional year for EU spirits exports and once again demonstrated the importance of international trade as a driver of growth for our sector," commented Pauline Bastidon, director of trade and economic affairs at spiritsEUROPE.
"But this exceptional performance has come under threat, as high inflation and rising production costs are starting to impact exports to key markets such as the US, while growing geopolitical and trade tensions risk to affect our exports to emerging markets."
Bastidon urged the European Union to maintain an outward-looking, diverse trade policy, rather than turn inward to protectionism or unilateralism, which she described as "our best bet against the growing volatility and tensions that we see on the horizon".
This includes maintaining a stable, predictable relationship with major trading partners, along with a strong focus on emerging markets (backed by EU free-trade agreements), closer regulatory cooperation and trade diplomacy, robust enforcement and an active promotion policy.
“With 85% of economic growth worldwide forecast to take place outside of Europe in the next decade, an ambitious EU trade policy and the conclusion of new FTAs are a must," commented Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE.
"Let’s be clear: deeper trading relationships can deliver much more than just economic benefits. Modern-day FTAs can act as agents for sustainable change and contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by encouraging higher production standards and more sustainable practices worldwide."
Elsewhere, spiritsEUROPE has reiterated its call for a swift conclusion to the EU-Mercosur Agreement before the end of the year, hading over a joint statement alongside the Brazilian Spirits Trade Association (ABBD) and the Brazilian Institute of Cachaça (IBRAC) to Pedro Miguel da Costa e Silva, Ambassador of Brazil to the EU.