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US wine exports reach US$951m in 2007

United States wine exports, 95% from California, reached a record high of US$951m in 2007, an 8.6% jump from the previous year. Volume shipments in 2007 increased 12% from 2006 to reach 453m litres.

“The long-term sales trend continues to be positive,” said Joseph Rollo, director of the Wine Institute international department.

“Over the last decade, US and California wine exports increased 77% in value and were shipped to 125 countries.”

About half of the US wine exports are shipped to the European Union, accounting for US$474m, followed by Canada, US$234m; Japan, US$63m; Switzerland, US$26m; and Mexico, US$24m.

Wine Institute’s trade director for the United Kingdom, John McLaren, is optimistic about the future growth of California wine sales in his market.

“The United Kingdom is refreshingly enlightened and open-minded about California wines; and while it can be a tough market to break into, it is very welcoming to wines of genuine character and value. The rich diversity and creativity of California wines, particularly in the growing mid-price sector, have found an enthusiastic audience here,” McLaren said.

Bulk wine sales to Europe have grown faster then bottled sales, due to the growing trend of producers shipping bulk wine abroad for bottling. This trend allows brand owners to efficiently make price points in a very competitive wine market. Total bulk table wine exports jumped 22% by volume to 169m litres and grew 25% by value to US$151m. Total branded bottled table wine exports rose 9.5% to 207m litres and were up 3% in value to US$635m.

Volume shipments to the European Union grew a healthy 7% in 2007 compared to 2006, but sales by value for these shipments were slightly lower because of the growing shift to lower bulk wine shipments to these markets.

American Wine Business Monthly May 2008

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