Tuesday, February 21, 2017

US Wine Exports Reach A Record $1.62 Billion

US wine exports have reached an all-time high. China’s thirst for wine is growing at an amazing pace.

SAN FRANCISCO—U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.62 billion in winery revenues in 2016, a new record. Despite challenges from a strong dollar, winery revenues were up 1% from 2015. Volume was 412.7 million liters or 45.9 million cases.

"California wine exports continue to reflect the trend toward premiumization with the dollar value of our wine sales outpacing volume shipments. California wines are well positioned for this trend—our vintners are offering quality, value, diverse styles and environmental stewardship in their winemaking. Combined with the state’s iconic lifestyle, innovative cuisine and beautiful destinations, California wines continue to gain attention from consumers worldwide," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO.

The Top Ten Markets

The top 10 export markets for US wines are: the European Union's 28-member countries, accounting for $685 million, followed by Canada, $431 million; Hong Kong, $99 million; Japan, $87 million; China, $82 million; Mexico, $24 million; South Korea, $23 million; Switzerland, $19 million; Singapore, $14 million; and Philippines, $13 million.

The volume of wine exported from the US actually declined to 109 million gallons in 2016 from a record 121.8 million gallons a year earlier. The value of the wine, however, increased from $1.6 billion to $1.62 billion.

"Trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have helped to dramatically grow U.S. wine exports yet discriminatory non-tariff trade barriers continue to be crafted by foreign governments at a steady pace," said Tom LaFaille, Wine Institute Vice President and International Trade Counsel.

China showed particularly strong growth with a 47% increase in value in one year along with an 11% increase in volume. This demonstrates a meaningful growth in higher value products.

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