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Spanish Wine Exports on the Increase

Posted: Wednesday, 17 July 2013 10:57

Spanish Wine Exports on the Increase

July 17: Despite the recessionary conditions still existing in the world wine market, Spain has done remarkably well by increasing its exports by 9.8% in value during the first four months of this calendar year, the pundits also attributing better acceptance of the bottled in origin wines because of improved quality as evidenced in the higher number of awards won in the international wine competitions.

Although the global crisis has slowed the consumption of wine in many of the world markets, Spanish wine exports have weathered this state of numbness. During the first four months of this year, overseas transactions have increased by 9.8% in value with an average price hike of 32.2% to €1.38 per liter. According to the latest data released by the Spanish Wine Market (OEMV), Spain has sold 586.6 million liters between January and April, with total revenues of €807.8 million, showing a jump of €71.8 million during the same period last year, thanks to a price increase of around €0.34.

Although Spanish wines have not made a major breakthrough in India yet after Torres set its feet firmly on the ground in the 1990s despite efforts from various quarters, Brand Spain has triumphed worldwide and gained recognition in the most demanding markets. The period of January and April 2013 continues to follow the trend set in 2012, characterized by less bulk wine sales and a rebound in value-added wines exports in the form of bottled wines.

According to OEMV, Spain currently has the second highest percentage growth in value (8.2%). European Union (with France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and United Kingdom as the leading importers) and the United States are the main target markets of Spanish wineries. In addition, recent data showing sales of one year between May 2012 and April 2013 recorded 1,942.7 million liters exported at €2571.1 million, at an average price of 1.32 Euros per liter.

However, everything is not positive with the export volumes in the first quarter with the data showing a fall in the markets dependent on bulk wines-such as France (-12.6%), Portugal (-12%), Italy, China and  Russia, with the recent shift in making improved quality wines.

Improved Quality and global recognition

The improving wine quality of Spanish wineries hasn’t gone unnoticed in the international wine competitions. Spanish wines have been winning more than their usual share of awards. At the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles held at Bratislava in May this year a total of 8,200 wines were submitted from 50 countries and 2408 were awarded medals this year (29%). According to the results announced, Spanish wines bagged 524 medals, behind only the leader France with 709 medals. With 1536 wine samples submitted, the medals awarded were higher at 34% as compared to the average of 29% in the competition.

But what was even more commendable was that Spain won 24 Great Golds (GG), the highest number won by any country-even ahead of France (18). While the average GG award rate was less than1%, Spain performed  60% better with 1.6% of wines awarded this coveted award.

At the International du Vin in Bordeaux, Spain won 197 medals with 49 gold, 64 silver and 84 bronze awards. Besides winning several medals at various other competitions, according to ICEX, “Finca La Reñana”, the white wine made with Viura and Macabeo grapes by Bodegas Luis Alegre in Rioja, has been recognized as the best barrel-fermented white wine of the world  by the prestigious Parker Guide 2013. This guide marks the international oenological trends and is published annually by Robert Parker.

Spain is going ahead full throttle in its efforts to boost the exports and increase the share of bottled wines. It should be a matter of time that some of their better quality well-priced wines will enter the Indian market, thanks to the efforts by the Spanish embassy, the trade commission and the co-operation of ICEX.

Olé to wines from Spain.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Spain, Torres, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, International du Vin, Finca La Reñana, Rioja


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