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WINE TRADE

Spain tops global wine export table, but is selling product cheap

France and Italy see greater revenues from sales, despite exporting lower volumes

Vineyards in La Rioja region.
Vineyards in La Rioja region. EFE

Spain was the world’s number one wine exporter in 2015, setting a new record with sales of nearly 24 million hectoliters, which brought in revenues of €2.6 billion. Those figures easily beat the 20 million hectoliters exported by Italy and the 15 million hectoliters by France, the second- and third-biggest global exporters, respectively.

That said, Spain is still far from the €8 billion in revenue earned by France last year, or the more than €5 billion by Italy. The reason for the difference? The average sale price of Spanish wine is just €1.10 a liter, 2.9% down on 2014.

Spain is still far from the €8 billion in revenue earned by France last year, or the more than €5 billion by Italy

For the head of the Spanish Wine Market Observatory, Rafael del Rey, the price fall represents a decline in the sector, which needs to be overcome through a greater focus on exports of bottled wines with some kind of denomination of origin or of specific grape varieties, following the example of Italian winemakers.

By country, France is the biggest importer of Spanish wine, buying in a total of 6.5 million hectoliters. The product is either sold as table wine, with labeling indicating its origin from the European Union, or sometimes as Spanish wine. Germany is the second-biggest importer of Spanish wine, with 4.2 million hectoliters, and Italy the third, with 2.7 million hectoliters.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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