Wine – Global consumption and trade on the rise

Global consumption and wine trade on the rise
© Pixabay, User: strecosa

All around the world, the production, trade and consumption of wine is growing. This trend for wine trade can mainly be attributed to the further liberalization of trade and certain international agreements. New wine exporters are popping up all the time on both sides of the Pacific, which is great news for SIMEI@drinktec exhibitors. After all, these various producer countries unlock exciting new opportunities in international markets.

Wine: Europe, long-reigning world champions in production and consumption

In the decades before the turn of the millennium, Europe was home to more than three-quarters of the world’s vineyards and wine producers. And when it comes to wine consumption, Europe was also in the lead, accounting for around 75 percent of global wine consumption. The end consumers on lush Mediterranean vineyards, particularly in France, Italy and Spain, were drinking huge quantities of wine. In some countries, average consumption was more than 100 liters per capita, per year. Now this figure has dropped to around 50 liters of wine per year in France, 30 liters in Italy and 20 liters in Spain.

This development is due to, among other things, a demographic shift that has affected even the rather populous, southern European countries. The transition from what were once predominantly agricultural economies to industrial and service-based economies only facilitated this trend.

The international wine boom and new production segments

The liberalization of trade and the signing of many agreements have given rise to new market players. The United States, especially California, as well as Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Australia, in particular, saw a huge upswing in the wine trade at the turn of the millennium. Large countries, such as China and India, are also seeing huge increases in vineyard acreage and production – even though these countries had never played a role in the past. In these countries, however, only part of the vineyards’ produce is dedicated to wine making: Raisins and grapes are both end products for these operations as well. China is now the world’s largest raisin producer, generating 14.6 million tons, trumping both Italy (and its 7.9 million tons) and the United States (7.1 million tons). To put that in perspective: The total worldwide production of raisins is 77.3 million tons.

Wine exports skyrocket

Global wine exports jumped by 44 percent from 60 million hectoliters in 2000, to 104 million hectoliters in 2016. In the same period, the value of wine exports greatly increased from €12 to 29 billion. The share of bottled wine exports has been, for the most part, stable at 54 percent. Wine that is transported in large steel tanks or flexitanks, accounts for about 40 percent of exports. Frizzante wines, German Sekt, sparkling wines and Champagne are gaining in popularity and account for about 8 percent of world wine exports.

The international wine trade calls for modern means of transportation

Today’s wine trade takes place in a global market, with many more competitors from different countries now than there were just a few decades back. But this international wine trade would be inconceivable without modern transport and loading technology, specialized carriers and goods management systems (all of which are on show at drinktec). To learn more about transportation trends and advice, check out SIMEI@drinktec, where various exhibitors will be unveiling their latest products. SIMEI is organized by the Unione Italiana VINI (UIV) and is teaming up with drinktec for the first time in 2017, perfectly complementing the exciting range of wine-growing products offered in the other two halls. SIMEI@drinktec is the place to be for winemakers and wine producers from all over the world.

Dr. Hermann Pilz

Dr. Hermann Pilz has been in charge of the trade magazine WEINWIRTSCHAFT as chief editor for over 20 years. He loves writing about many different topics of the wine and spirits industry.