Italian wine industry is waiting to know how its future will look in the U.S. market, the main non-European destination of its products, where the Washington Department of Commerce has to announce the revision – or not – of the blacklist of products subject to duty, which could bring the tariffs for the customs clearance of wine, oil and pasta produced in the European Union up to 100%. Concern that the country shares with all European wine producers, France and Spain above all, already affected by the first wave of duties, of 25% – but only on still wines above 14 degrees – in force since mid-October 18, which are already harming Iberian and French shipments.
As the data on US imports in November – only on bottled still wines – analyzed by the Espanol Observatory of the Wine Market, after months of growth France lost 34.7 million euros in turnover compared to October, which represents a decrease of -37.8% in terms of percentages. It is relatively better than Spain, which leaves 2.35 million euros on the ground, -11.7%, while regarding Italy in November shipments of still wines grew by 8.25 million euros, +6.7%. The evident collapse of France, however, should not make us lose sight of the global trend: 2019 had already seen – in February – a significant drop in imports of still wines to the U.S., with shipments from France, Italy and Spain that month marked -20%; besides, in November, not even the producers of the Southern Hemisphere overperformed, indeed: if New Zealand grew by +5.8%, Australia lost -9.3% and Argentina even loses 26.7%.
Returning to the trend of shipments to the USA in November, it is very interesting to note that volumes did not register a large drop, which results into a significant drop in the average price, probably the most-awaited and worrying effect brought about by the introduction of duties: France lost 7.9% of volumes and Spain 9.2%, with Italy in positive territory, at +4.81%. For winemakers from across the Alps, this is the first drop since February, while for Iberian producers it is a lower drop than those recorded in February, April, August, and October, and even in this case the answer does not come from far away, quite the opposite: Australia in November lost 13.6% of volumes shipped to the U.S., Argentina 23.2% and New Zealand, again against the trend, grew by 8.3%.
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