Global Wine Trade in 2023: a year of contrasts and challenges

The shifts and surprises in international wine commerce: from the steadfast U.S. to the rising Russian market


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In a year marked by complex global dynamics, the international wine trade has navigated a path through various challenges and transformations. The latest analysis by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) sheds light on the trends and shifts in the wine market over the past 12 months, up to June 2023. This period has witnessed notable changes in both the export and import landscapes of the wine industry, with traditional powerhouses holding their ground and emerging markets making significant strides.

The U.S.: A Steady Importer Amidst Global Fluctuations

Leading the charge as the primary wine importer both in value and volume, the United States has maintained its dominance in the global wine market. Despite an overall challenging year, the U.S. recorded a 7% growth in value, amounting to approximately $7.33 billion (€6.925,1 million), and remained the top importer in volume. However, this volume saw a decline of 3%, totaling around 1,373.3 million liters. This trajectory, though not linear, reflects the broader difficulties faced across sectors in 2023.

The first half of the year was particularly telling, with the U.S. experiencing a decrease in both value (-$69 million or €65 million) and volume (-64.8 million liters). This downturn, albeit temporary, was emblematic of the broader economic and logistical challenges encountered globally.

The UK and Germany: Diverging Paths in the European Market

The United Kingdom emerged as the second-largest market in terms of value and third in volume, trailing behind Germany in the latter. The UK market's worth reached approximately $5 billion (€4.705,7 million), a growth of 3.5% or $169.5 million (€159,8 million). However, it saw a reduction in orders from other countries by 6.4%, equating to a decline of 87 million liters, standing at 1,266.9 million liters by June 2023.

Germany, traditionally a significant market for Italian wines and the third-largest in import value, showed a decline in both aspects. The value of imports decreased by 4% to about $2.87 billion (€2.708,9 million), and volume fell by 3% to 1,367.3 million liters. This reduction of over 41 million liters is a stark indicator of the economic challenges faced by the country.

China and Russia: Contrasting Trends in Eastern Markets

China, once a robust importer of wine, has notably shifted its stance. The country saw a significant drop in wine imports, leaving approximately 114.8 million liters on the market, amounting to a saving of about $187.7 million (€177 million). This change represents a considerable shift in consumption patterns and economic priorities within the Chinese market.

In stark contrast, Russia displayed a rapid increase in its wine imports, both in volume and value. The country witnessed an increase of 123 million liters and approximately $417.3 million (€393 million) in value. These figures catapult Russia paradoxically as the most growing market in the past year, despite the ongoing geopolitical tensions and economic sanctions it faces.

The year 2023 has been a period of significant upheaval and change in the global wine market. Traditional leaders like France and Italy have maintained their status as top exporters, while the U.S. continues to dominate as the leading importer. However, the shifting dynamics in countries like the UK, Germany, China, and Russia underline the complexity and fluidity of international trade in the context of broader economic and geopolitical challenges.

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