Germany puts quality before quantity in wine exports

Lehdistötiedote 7.3.2016

German wine exporters continued to focus on higher added value last year by exporting better-quality products but had to accept losses in terms of volume. As the German Wine Institute (DWI) announced in the run-up to the ProWein international trade fair in Duesseldorf, the average ex cellar price per litre of exported wine rose by 21 cents to €2.89 / litre. This corresponds to an increase of 40 percent compared with 2010. In the same period, quality wines, which constitute roughly three-quarters of the export volume, posted a 41 percent increase in value to €3.23 / litre.

“We are on the right track to position German wine in the mid and higher-price segments and to increase added value for our producers. However, price rises in price-sensitive markets quickly lead to de-listing, especially in the entry-level sector. As the growth in exports obtained with more upmarket wines was not able to compensate for the losses in this sector, export volumes have fallen in recent years. Those to Russia in particular have been affected, which – further impaired by the economic sanctions – fell dramatically from 220,000 hectolitres in 2010 to 8,000 hectolitres in 2015,” explained DWI managing director Monika Reule. “Compared with the year before, total wine exports in 2015 fell by 12 percent to one million hectolitres,” she said. “The slightly below-average yields of the past few years were also responsible for this. Overall, wine exports held an 11 percent share of last year´s grape must yields.

Due to the increased average price, the revenue decline in wine exports of five percent was comparatively moderate. The total value of German wine exports in 2015 amounted to roughly €300 million.

Quality red wine now accounts for 9 percent of this, up two percent on 2014. “This shows an increased acceptance and perception of German Pinot noir and Co. abroad, which we have been emphasizing more strongly in our international communications for a few years now”, explained Reule.

German wine exporters now generate more than a quarter of their total revenue in the USA. Thanks to an 11 percent rise in the average price to €4.17 / litre, exports to this important trend market in 2015 were valued at 82 million.

The Netherlands takes second place in the export statistics with a share in the total export value of 11 percent, followed by Great Britain with 9 percent and Norway with 8 percent. Roughly half of all German wine is exported to these four important markets.