United States wine exports rebounded to a new record of $1.14 billion in winery revenues in 2010, an increase of 25.6 percent over 2009 wine exports.
Volume shipments rose 1.9 percent to 425.5 million liters or 47.3 million nine-liter cases.
“This positive news indicates that our goal of $2 billion in wine export revenues by 2020 is achievable,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO. “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.”
Added Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute’s International Marketing Director: “Consumers worldwide are attracted to the state’s renowned cuisine, natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle, and these features go hand in hand with California wine. We recently launched our global Discover California Wines branding campaign with print and multi-media materials that emphasize the California lifestyle.”
But without efforts to bring down trade barriers, securing California wines would be nothing more than a dream for many consumers around the world.
“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,” acknowledged Wine Institute’s International Trade Policy Director, Tom LaFaille. “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.”
Thirty-eight percent of U.S. wine exports by value were shipped to the 27 member countries of the European Union, accounting for $435 million of the revenues, up 14 percent from 2009. Volume shipments to the E.U. reached 27.6 million cases in 2010, up 11 percent from the previous year.
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
* China – $45 million.
“California wine sales continued to grow at an impressive pace in the Canadian market during 2010,” said Rick Slomka, Wine Institute Trade Director for Canada. “Although sales increases were realized in all provincial markets, the most significant growth took place in Quebec, where several branded and category promotions helped Quebec to become the largest provincial market for California wines in Canada.”
And what about in the world’s emerging markets for wine?
“The situation in the emerging wine markets improved in 2010,” said Eric Pope, Wine Institute’s Regional Director for Emerging Markets. “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 there 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.”