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Whopping Jump in US Wine Export Value

Posted: Thursday, 24 February 2011 17:43

Whopping Jump in US Wine Export Value

Feb 24: The Americans may have put slight brakes to their wine consumption briefly or traded down due to recession, but the wineries pushed their exports to fetch them 25.6% higher revenues in 2010 to a record $1.14 billion, despite only a marginal increase in volume of 1.9% over 2009 to 425 million liters, raising their hope of meeting the export target of US $2 billion by 2020.

"California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world. Our continued work advocating for a level playing field in trade matters and the creative, long-term marketing investments by our wineries will enable us to reach our goal," reportedly said an optimist Bobby Koch, President and CEO of San Francisco based Wine Institute in California which contributes 90% to the total US exports.

Linsey Gallagher, the International Marketing Director says, ‘we recently launched our global Discover California Wines branding campaign with print and multi-media materials that emphasize the California lifestyle.’

"With close to 20 percent of California's wine production being sold in other countries, exports represent an important part of our industry's success.  To help drive further growth, we continue to work closely with the U.S. government and the international wine community to remove trade barriers and open new markets," said Wine Institute's International Trade Policy Director Tom LaFaille.

In terms of volumes in different markets, 38% of the U.S. wine exports by value were shipped to EU, 14% higher than 2009.  Volume shipments at 27.6 million cases in 2010 were higher by 11% over 2009. Changes in the dollar exchange rate, a gradually recovering economy and California's effective marketing and high wine quality have helped exports rebound.  Other top markets were: Canada, $308 million; Hong Kong, $116 million; Japan, $76 million; and China, $45 million.

"The UK is a tough market at the moment, with the consumer assailed by increases in direct and indirect taxation.  Under these difficult circumstances, the significant upturn for California is a remarkable achievement for the industry," said John McLaren, Wine Institute Trade Director for the United Kingdom.  

"The situation in the emerging wine markets improved in 2010.  Most markets returned to growth and prospects for the future are very positive across the region.  Individually, Hong Kong strengthened its position as the world's third largest export market by value, growing nearly 150 percent compared to 2009.  Although the rate of growth of wine exports to China slowed last year, we exported an additional $9.6 million to China in 2010.  China continues to represent a significant opportunity for California wines as interest in our wines continues to spread out from the major hubs of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou," Eric Pope, Wine Institute's Regional Director, Emerging Markets has reportedly said.  

The US market for premium wines seems to be perking up this year since the beginning of 2011. Says Gaia Gaja, who assists Angelo Gaja in the export of the super premium wines of Piedmont, says, ‘last year was slightly sluggish for us but this year has seen a big rebound. We are going crazy trying to execute the pending orders during the last two months.

It may be a few months too early yet but it should soon be time for the Americans to sing, ‘ Happy Days are Here Again, let us sing a song of Cheer Again’ and say Cheers with wines from California to Campania!


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