'Worst Summer' For Global Wine Industry, Study Finds

By Branislav Pekic
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'Worst Summer' For Global Wine Industry, Study Finds

The period between March and August 2020, which was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, was the worst summer in modern history for the global wine industry, according to a new study.

According to the Osservatorio Vinitalia-Nomisma Wine Monitor, wine imports by non-EU countries fell by 15.2%, or by around €1.4 billion compared to the same period last year.

Sales of sparkling wine (-28.8%) suffered the biggest drop, losing share in the top 10 global importing countries, which account for 92% of non-EU markets.

Italian Wine

Italian wine also recorded its worst summer for three decades, closing the summer with an 8.6% drop, after an excellent start to the year (+14.5% in the first two months of 2020).

Italian wine imports fell in the USA (-8.1%), France (-40.1%), and China (-38%), although they increased in Switzerland, by 7.5%.


With Brexit on the horizon, the UK market also saw a slump, with both Italy (-9.5%) and France (-21.6%) seeing a drop in export sales to Britain, with sparkling wines in particular taking a hit (-41.9% for France and -17.4% for Italy).

Overall, sales of French sparkling wines dropped by 38.5%, while Italian sparkling wines saw a 12% reduction in sales.

Import Totals

The value of wine imports into non-EU countries during the summer stood at €7.7 billion, compared to €9.1 billion in the same period of 2019.

The top five non-EU importers all saw a drop in imports, with the USA seeing a 20.7% drop, followed by the UK (-6.8%), China (-35.5%), Canada (-7.9%) and Japan (-17.5%). Although growing the most in recent years, sparkling wines have now seen a 28.8% drop and a negative trend across all non-EU markets.


Another trend noted by the research is that there was a sharp drop in the average price of wine, largely due to the challenges seen in the HoReCa channel (in which higher-value wines are typically sold) and speculative behaviour along the supply chain.

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

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