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World wine imports slightly down – Germany biggest market

>> Monday, August 03, 2009

World imports shrunk slightly to reach 84 Mhl in 2008, down 1.4 Mhl from 2007. (2007 recorded substantial increase over 2006 with +4.6 Mhl). Biggest importer is of course Germany (13 Mhl) with its substantial consumption and modest production. It is followed by the United Kingdom (12 Mhl), USA (8 Mhl), and Russia (6 Mhl). Perhaps surprisingly, France is the 5th biggest importer (6 Mhl). The rest of the list is filled by affluent (and small) western countries. No developing market (apart from Russia) has yet made it onto the list. This will no doubt soon change. Europe accounts for 73% of wine imports, Asia 6%, America 16%, Africa 3%, and Oceania a tiny 1% (don’t the Australians and the Kiwis drink foreign wines?). Source OIV:

Country forecast 2008, ‘000 hl in %

  • Germany 13 707 -- 16,4%
  • United kingdom 11 871 -- 14,2%
  • United states 8 250 -- 9,9%
  • Russia 5 734 -- 6,9%
  • France 5 719 -- 6,8%
  • Netherlands 3 461 -- 4,1%
  • Canada 3 200 -- 3,8%
  • Belgium 3 118 -- 3,7%
  • Switzerland 1 845 -- 2,2%
  • Denmark 1 825 -- 2,2%
  • World total 83 580


WineCouple August 11, 2009 1:17 AM  

On the surface, it seems strange that France is a leading importer of wine. It is less surprizing given that wine is such a big part of French culture and there are so many great wines on the market from so many different countries.

I agree that we are not headed to the "wine lake" scenario but certainly are headed into a "wine lover's market" as the recession forces many expensive wines to be sold at a discount as inventories need to be moved to make room for the next vintage.


Per and Britt August 11, 2009 4:37 PM  

It is indeed curious that France is one of the biggest importers. Perhaps it's simply because they (we) are also one of the world's biggest consumers. Or maybe it is all that port going into the sauces?

It is indeed likely that wine lovers will be able to find many "cheap" wines in the near future. But the downside of the falling prices is of course that many competent winemakers (but perhaps not so competent salesmen) will go out of business.


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