Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fun numbers: Statistics on wine drinking worldwide

Vinexpo last month released some interesting statistics as part of its 14th global study on the international wine and spirits markets. I haven't seen them widely reported, so I thought I'd summarize some of them here.

Top 10 Wine Producing Countries:

France maintains a tiny lead over Italy for No. 1. But the news is that China has jumped all the way to 7th, ahead of Chile, South Africa and Germany, and -- hard as this is to believe -- just behind Australia.

In fact, Argentina, No. 5, makes 50% more wine than Australia.

The US is a solid 4th, making nearly twice as much wine as Argentina but 1/3 less than Spain.

The list: France, Italy, Spain, US, Argentina, Australia, China, Chile, South Africa, Germany.

Top 10 Still* Wine Drinking Countries:

Italy is still No. 1. The US passed France in 2009 to become No. 2 overall. Vinexpo projects the US to be the No. 1 still wine consuming nation by 2014.

Once again the big story is China, doubling its consumption in four years to jump to No. 7 overall, ahead of Spain.

Though world wine consumption is up 4.5% since 2005, Spain and France are exceptions, as they are drinking significantly less wine than five years ago.

The list: Italy, US, France, Germany, UK, Argentina, China (including Hong Kong), Spain, Russia, Romania (who knew?)

Top 10 Sparkling Wine Drinking Countries

The Chinese haven't yet discovered sparkling wine; they're not in the top 10 in worldwide consumption. Meanwhile, Eastern Europeans know how to party.

The list: Germany, France, Russia, US, Italy, UK, Spain, Australia, Ukraine, Poland (who knew?)

What wine costs: Less than we think

Worldwide, 71.4% of all wine consumed in 2009 cost less than $5 US per bottle.

Another 21% cost between $5 and $10 US. That means only 7.6% of all wine sold in the world in 2009 cost more than $10 a bottle.

The numbers are very different in the US: 42.7% of wines sold are under $5; 43.2% are between $5 and $10. Just 14.1% cost more than $10 -- nearly double the world average, but still less than 1 of every 7 bottles, whereas I'll wager about 6 out of 7 bottles mentioned in articles about wine cost over $10. (I'm guilty here too.)

Top 10 Wine Exporting Countries

In exports, France still leads everyone by a huge margin in value, while Italy is No. 1 in volume. The US ranks a respectable 7th in volume and 6th in value, ahead of noted exporters Germany, Argentina and Portugal.

The list (by value): France, Italy, Australia, Spain, Chile, US, Germany, Argentina, Portugal

Top 10 Wine Exporters to the US

72.3% of the wines we drink in this country are domestic, down only slightly from 72.6% in 2005. Don't fret for American producers as we're actually drinking more of everybody's wine; our consumption is up 9.76% since 2005.

Despite all the talk of collapse in Australia's wine market here, Oz was still our No. 2 foreign supplier in 2009 after Italy, and Australian imports here actually grew over the previous four years.

Argentinian imports here more than doubled between 2005 and 2009, jumping the country ahead of Germany and Spain to be our 5th largest supplier.

The list: Italy, Australia, France, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Portugal.

Top 10 Export Markets for US wine

About twice as many US exports go to the UK as our No. 2 market, Italy. I'm surprised to see Canada is only our No. 3 market, but exports have grown by nearly 50% over the previous four years and Canada should be our No. 2 export market soon.

US wine exports to Hong Kong and China are growing at phenomenal rates -- nearly 10 times over 5 years for Hong Kong, 5 times for the mainland -- but they still rate as only our No. 6 and 7 markets, and even combined they would still be below Japan at No. 5.

The list: UK, Italy, Canada, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, China.


vinaceous said...

Some very interesting data. Just wondering... did VinExpo declare whether the pricing is wholesale or retail? Wholesale seems more likely.

W. Blake Gray said...

Nope, retail. I should add that those are 750 ml bottle equivalents; much of that under-$5 wine is probably sold in a larger container; i.e., jugs or boxes.

King Krak, Helpful as always said...

"...I'll wager about 6 out of 7 bottles mentioned in articles about wine cost over $10. (I'm guilty here too.)"

Guilty of what? Some crime? Or?

How many reviews of cheap wine or others beverages do people really want to read? Is there a secret demand for reviews of all soda and other non-alc. beverages that all of the major newspapers, etc., have colluded on so they don't have to cover it?

Anonymous said...

super interesting... i'd love to see the 10th country in value exporting and the list by volume.

Unknown said...

The U.S. export numbers for Italy are a bit misleading. My understanding is that almost all of the volume is bulk wine (mostly white Zinfandel) which is bottled in Italy and then shipped to the U.K. This arrangement apparently saves on freight and has "tax advantages" (i.e. reduced duties) once the wine is in the E.U.

The data for China are thought provoking but may be flawed. It is unclear where the domestic production figures come from. Certainly it is a potentially huge market

Anonymous said...

Great info. Thanks for posting.