The harvest is now over and according to the latest reports for 2019 wine production decreased compared to 2018. However, it is worth pointing out that it hit record numbers last year after the dramatic decline in production experienced in vintage 2017 due to adverse weather.
According to forecasts, Italy will remain in the top spot as the world's leading producer for another year, with about 46 million hectolitres, a position it has held almost unchallenged for years. France and Spain follow with an estimated 43 and 40 million hectolitres, respectively.
These rankings should not come as a surprise, considering that these 3 countries alone cover about half of global wine production. When you look at these figures, it is not surprising that 62% of wine was produced in Europe in 2018.
Data provided by OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) show that in America, the United States is the undisputed leader, followed by Argentina and Chile, while China clearly takes the lead in Asia. On the other continents, Australia (12.9 million hectolitres in 2018) and South Africa (9.5 million hectolitres in 2018) are worth mentioning.
Among these countries, China, Australia and South Africa are the only countries that in the abundant vintage 2018 recorded a decrease compared to the difficult previous year.
Wine consumption map
According to the OIV report, as far as wine consumption is concerned, the United States remains in first place, confirming a trend that has continued to increase in recent years. The two largest wine producers follow, but in reverse order: as far as consumption is concerned, France outperforms Italy. Next in the ranking, the largest markets for wine consumers are Germany and China. These 5 countries together consume about half of the wine produced worldwide.
Fun fact: the consumption map looks totally different when you consider the average amount of wine that a person drinks in a year. In this case Portugal takes first place, while the United States falls out of the Top 10, down to a modest 19th position. Undoubtedly, Europeans appreciate wine the most and dominate the ranking unquestionably, with the sole exception of Australians.
Average wine consumption per capita per year, data in litres (source: OIV)
Wine trade figures
The wine market has been recording a constant increase in volume, as well as in revenues. As a matter of fact, revenues rose from 13.4 billion euros in 2000 to a staggering 31 billion euros in 2018. The increases in value are also due to low production in 2017, which had a significant impact on the average price of exported wines, especially in Europe.
Among the most significant trends, worth noting are the growing sales of sparkling and semi-sparkling wines, which rose by 33% in the 2014-2018 period, conquering 9% of the wine market. It is no wonder that Italian and French wines are most appreciated in the world.
Thecountries that export the most wine are Spain, Italy, France, Chile and Australia. However, in terms of revenues, it is France that takes first place, with revenues of 9.3 billion euro in 2018, followed by Italy (6.1 billion euro) and Spain (2.9 billion euro).
As far asimports are concerned, the five largest countries buying wine from abroad alone account for more than half of total imports in terms of volume. They are Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and China. Italy only managed an 11th place.
Although in 2018 the United States recorded a 4.7% drop in wine imports, it still ranks first among importers in terms of expenditure (5.2 billion euro), followed by the United Kingdom and Germany, with 3.5 billion euro and 2.6 billion euro, respectively.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that, aside from the seasonal trends that can adversely affect the outcome of a given vintage, the wine market is doing great. Trends during recent years have clearly been positive, both in terms of production quantity and revenues.
Certain producing countries and markets clearly still hold a dominant position. In particular, Europe continues to play a key role, although some countries in the rest of the world are carving a remarkable position in the market, first and foremost the United States, China, Australia and South Africa.
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