Italy’s Wine Industry Hits Record High in Exports Despite Challenges

17/03/2023

The Italian wine industry set a new record in exports reaching 7.9 billion euros in sales (+9.8%) in 2022, despite stagnant volumes (22 million hectoliters, -0.6%).

Rising production costs reduce supply chain margins

The latest analysis by the UIV, Ismea and Vinitaly Observatory shows that the wine market has withstood some price changes, but rising production costs have significantly reduced supply chain margins, especially for entry-level and popular products.

Positive balance sheet, but dependence on price doping could be risky

Still, the overall balance is positive, with a trade surplus of more than 7.3 billion euros for the Italian wine sector. However, the Observatory warned about dependence on price doping, which can mitigate margin erosion but could be risky in terms of consumption in 2023.

Major demand markets register value increases, but volumes are stationary or declining

Although sales growth slowed sharply in the last quarter, it is noteworthy that all major demand markets, including the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, and France, recorded value increases. The United States is Italy’s top export market, with a 23% share and a 10% increase, followed by Germany, which recorded a 5% increase to 1.2 billion euros, and the United Kingdom, Canada, and Switzerland, which increased by 10%, 11%, and 3%, respectively. France is also growing strongly, with a 25% increase. However, volumes are stationary or declining in all major destinations, with the exception of France, which increased by 16% due to significant growth in Prosecco, up 20%.

Changes by wine type and region

UIV Observatory, ISMEA and Vinitaly experts observed a different performance of Italian wines depending on the type and region of origin.

Sparkling wines, particularly Prosecco, continued to drive the sector’s growth, increasing 19% in value and 6% in volume. However, sparkling wines declined 7% in volume but gained 6% in value.

Bottled still wines declined 3% in volume, particularly reds, which fell 4%. While low-priced red wines contracted, premium wines from Piedmont, Veneto, and Tuscany grew.

Leading regions in Italian wine exports

Veneto, Piedmont and Tuscany are still the top three regions for wine exports, with Veneto leading tricolor exports with a 36% share of the national total, reaching more than 2.8 billion euros in foreign sales and outperforming the Italian average (+13.4%). Piedmont is in second place, with a growth rate of 4.6% (reaching 1.28 billion euros), followed by Tuscany in third place, with a growth rate of 10.4% (reaching 1.25 billion euros). Together, these three regions account for 68.2% of Made in Italy wine exports.

Trentino Alto-Adige (-1.1%) and Emilia-Romagna (+8.9%) followed the top three, while Friuli-Venezia Giulia (+39.7%), Marche (+25.9%) and Sicily (+21%) recorded notable growth rates among the main wine regions.

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