Italian Wine News


US 2004 Import Data - Australia Threatens Italy's Position as Top Wine Importer
Italian Trade Center – February 19, 2005

The December, 2004 wine import data, released by the United States Commerce Department Friday, February 18, confirm Italy as the number one importer to the US, with a 31 percent market share for the main wine sector, or still wines in bottles containing fewer than two liters.

The feared overtaking by Australia, whichtook place in the second quarter of the past year, did not result in the yearly figures. The growth of the Italian export by value, however, standing at 4.99 percent, compared to the Australian 15.54 percent increase in the same period, is anything but reassuring.

US Wine Import 2004

The commercial data for the last five years in fact, confirm the aggressive marketing and the acquisition of market share by Australia, whose wine imports grew from about €200 million in 1999 to $711 million value in 2004 (see these values into other up-to-date currencies). The quantity exported grew from 38.6 million liters (about 10.2 million gallons) to 169 million of liters (about 44.65 million gallons).

The results achieved by Italy in the same period instead, are more modest, In fact, in 2004, the overall imports decreased by 6.25 percent, or a value of $876 million, while in 2003 the exports increased by 8 percent over 2002. Australia is conquering more and more market share in US markets, where it exported 181 million liters (47.81 million gallons) in 2004, or just 12 million liters (3.17 million gallons) fewer than Italy.

According to US statistics, the average price of Italian wines has grownfrom $3.70 to $4.84 over the last five years. In the same period though, the average price for Australian wines dropped from $5.17 to $4.20 (see these values into other up-to-date currencies).

France registered a decrease of 19.3 percent in value and 7 percent in quantity compared to 2003 and dropped to the third position, surpassed, of course, by Australia.

As in previous years, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain achieved important results, increasing their imports considerably over 2003 (though their overall imports to the US are still far lower than the Italian, Australian and French quantities.

Source: Dr. Giovanni Mafodda, Italian Trade Commission, New York, N. Y.
Translated from Italian by WineCountry.IT

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