France tops Italy in wine exports to the U.S.
France is making history by beating out Italy in wine exports to the United States, which is the top import market in the world, after Italy dominated for the last 15 years. This according to Business Strategies’ Third Country Observatory, which worked with Nomisma-Wine Monitor on the latest data on wine imports to the United States (source: customs information), which was updated in the third trimester of this year. France has overtaken Italy to the tune of 1.220 billion euros (as opposed to 1.210 euros), and this is the effect of France making a comeback, recouping about 160 million euros in just nine months.
“Italy is losing a much coveted top position and doing so in a bad way,” said Business Strategies CEO Silvana Ballotta. “If we consider that, today, France is the market leader in the three top import markets in the world: the United States, the United Kingdom and China.” The expert on “Made in Italy” continues: “It hurts even more to see how in a year of great growth of demand in wine throughout the world, the United States has become the ‘litmus test’ for our weakened competitiveness in global markets, the result of ineffective promotional and marketing initiatives that are never synergistic.”
Specifically, France’s domination in the U.S. has seen a performance increase of 18.8% in the first nine months of the year: this is six times the Italian increase (3%), with Italy losing overall in terms of the all-round growth of American wine imports (+8%). So, market shares are down for Italy compared to the same period of 2016 (from 32.7% to 31.1%), especially due to stagnation in sales of bottled still wine, where Italy is still the market leader (962 million euros). However, Italy gained only 1.6% in value (compared to France’s increase of 21.4%) and an overall average of 5.9% in the segment in terms of imports. Italian sparkling wines are also reporting below average numbers, and while there was an 8.7% increase, the numbers reported are still the worst in the market (+11.5%). Once again, the French (+14%) are absolutely dominating in terms of value for this type of wine, with 432 million euros.
The situation is different in terms of volume imported, with Italy’s numbers being double those of France. In general, average prices of the imported product are down slightly, with Italy lowering prices especially for bubbly.