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Italian wine: exports growing in the quarter despite the decline in March

Italian wine exports closed the first quarter of the year on the rise, in contrast to the general decline in Made in Italy recorded by Istat. The trend balance shows an increase of 3.1% in exported volumes and 3.9% in value, reaching 1.84 billion euros, while French competitors recorded a decline of 0.2%. However, according to the Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv) Observatory, the market still presents areas of uncertainty.

Italian wine: exports growing in the quarter despite the decline in March according to the Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv) Observatory

Italian wine: Made in Italy exports growing in 2024

After an excellent start to the year and a two-month period with an 8.3% increase in shipments, March saw a 4% decline, mainly due to significant drops in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and France.

Although all types of wine recorded positive balances – with sparkling wines at +7.3% since January, bottled still wines at +2.7% and sparkling wines at +12.2% -, average prices, with the exception of bulk and musts are decreasing, indicating market resistance to paying more despite light production in the last year.

Italian wine: exports growing in the quarter despite the decline in March according to the Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv) Observatory

According to Uiv analysis, the increase in exported volumes is mainly attributable to orders from the Russian Federation; without this contribution, growth would have been flat. Among the positive notes, we note the return to the positive sign for bottled PDO red wines (+2.8% in value, to 459 million euros), the double-digit increase in PGI white wines (+12.7%) and the growth of Prosecco (+7.8%) and Asti Docg (+7.5%) among sparkling wines.

“The economic context still requires maximum attention,” declared Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of the Italian Wine Union. “In this fluid phase, it is essential for companies to monitor the markets and monitor price lists, with the aim of improving the positioning of Made in Italy wine in the long term. Furthermore, Uiv believes that, even in complicated situations like this, it is necessary to continue investing in the promotion, innovation and restructuring of vineyards”.

The divergence between the 2024 results relating to EU demand (-0.6% in value) and non-EU demand (+7%) continues, with a slight growth (1.3% in value) in the top 5 markets, which represent 59% of exports: United States at +2.2%, Germany -2.7%, United Kingdom +7.8%, Switzerland -7.8% and Canada +8.9%. Russia, with an increase of 142.6%, jumps to sixth place, overtaking France and Japan. However, this figure is destined to normalize due to the increase in excise duties in force since last May and the consequent early run on inventories.