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Wine: 25 percent more export value in the first half-year
Strong demand in main export markets, sparkling wine in trend
The easing of the international Corona restrictions has led to a strong increase in wine exports from Austria: From January to June, the export value climbed to over 111 million euro, a quarter more than in the same period last year. Responsible for this are rich increases in all main export markets and the reopening of the worldwide gastronomy.
Gastronomy reopening boosts sales
As Statistics Austria's wine export figures for the first half of 2021 show, Austria's wines are in high demand internationally: a strong increase of 9.8% in volume is matched by an even greater increase of 25.5% in value. It should be mentioned in this context that wine exports had also been quite stable in the first half of 2020 despite Corona.
"We had hoped that the easing of the worldwide Corona restrictions would be good for our exports - but the current figures clearly exceed our expectations!" Chris Yorke, managing director of ÖWM (Österreich Wein Marketing GmbH), is happy and adds: "While on the domestic market the recovery of the gastronomy is unfortunately still slow, the gastro reopening internationally ensures that our vintners can also sell their high-quality wines better again; this is shown by the strongly increased export value. This also allowed the average price per liter to exceed the 3 euro mark again, it is currently at a pleasing 3.02 euros."
The half-year value of more than 111 million euros is also a good step towards an annual export of 200 million euros - a value that ÖWM has set as a medium-term goal. "Whether we reach the mark this year, however, depends heavily on further developments in the second half of the year," Yorke explains.
Great demand in main export markets, sparkling wine in trend
Increases in all important export countries were responsible for the large increase in value: The price-sensitive market of Germany grew by a remarkable 15%, Switzerland by 21% and the USA by as much as 33%. The Scandinavian countries, which had already seen strong growth in 2020, continue to point upwards with an increase of 14 %, and Belgium and the Netherlands were able to increase by a total of 37 %. The 52 % increase in the United Kingdom is also particularly pleasing, despite its exit from the EU. Canada (+111 %) and the Asian markets also showed very positive sales developments: Japan grew by 52 %, China by as much as 247 %.
In the individual product groups, sparkling wines achieved a particularly large increase in value of 45%, but white and red quality wines in bottles also increased strongly in sales (+33% and +18% respectively).
Intensive contact management decisive
Yorke attributes the high increases to a joint effort of the wine industry: "Immediately after the first lockdown in March 2020, Austria's vintners and the ÖWM worked intensively on maintaining contacts with our international partners. Nobody should lose sight of our excellent wines - and this is now paying off!"
Since the first lockdown, the ÖWM has organised 119 events worldwide, presenting 5,500 wines from over 700 winemakers.
Domestic wine sales also remain in focus
"However, despite all the joy about the export development, we must not forget the very important domestic wine sales channels!", Yorke concludes. "The most important sales channel, the hospitality industry, continues to feel the impact of the pandemic, particularly in urban areas. It is also very important that hotels and pubs are able to be open during the ski season as this is where many of our premium wines are sold. We are encouraged by the latest feedback from the domestic wine trade, which reports increases, particularly in value."
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