2020: Record exports despite Covid-19 pandemic
Export revenues reach record high
Statistics Austria’s 2020 wine export figures for the full year are cause for celebration: Austrian wines recorded astounding growth in both volume and revenue. A total of 67.4 million litres (+6.3%) valued at €187.3 million (+2.4%) was achieved – a new record in terms of export value.
At the end of 2020, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) was expecting a slight decline in total exports at around 62 million litres (-2.4%) and a value of €175 million (-4.4%). These forecasts were based on export figures up to September and the ongoing challenging global situation. However, exports increased significantly during the last quarter.
“The 2020 export figures represent an incredible performance by the Austrian wine industry!”, explains Chris Yorke, CEO of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. “Despite all the major wine trade fairs and events being cancelled, and pubs, restaurants and shops staying shut for months, we saw an increase in both volume and value. This demonstrates the great appeal that Austrian wine now enjoys around the world.”
More wine exported via trade channels
The greater increase in export volume compared to value indicates that less Austrian wine was distributed in the international on-trade market because of pandemic restrictions, while more was sold via online and offline sales channels such as multiple grocers and wine specialists. This also resulted in a slightly lower average price of €2.78 per litre (2019: €2.89).
Significant increase in volume in Germany and Switzerland
The main export market of Germany increased primarily in volume (+10.2%), with revenue showing more reserved growth (+1.7%). Second-placed Switzerland (including Liechtenstein) managed to increase in volume by 20.1% and in value by 5.2%. This means that by international comparison, Austria achieved very high figures with the Swiss: according to the Swiss-Impex, imports from all other wine-producing countries increased by only 2.1% in volume and 0.4% in revenue.
USA: above-average performance for Austria
With a 19.2% growth in volume and a 6.1% increase in value, the Netherlands has ousted the USA from its position as the third key export country. Badly affected by the pandemic, both the USA’s export volume (-4.2%) and value (-7.9%) fell. However, wine from Austria still performed comparatively well: according to Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, imports from all other wine-producing countries fell 20.9% by volume and 8.4% by revenue.
Major upswing for Scandinavia, Canada and Russia; Asia on the wane
Scandinavia showed very pleasing trends (+25.1% volume, +32.8% revenue); Norway and Sweden in particular have long been showing great potential for purchasing Austrian wines produced using environmentally conscious methods. Canada (+85.7% volume, +77.1% revenue) and Russia (+131.5% volume, +112.9% revenue) achieved even greater growth.
Losses were seen in Asia, especially China (-53.1% volume, -58.8% revenue). Furthermore, fewer Austrian wines were shipped to Japan in 2020 (-11.4% volume, -15.5% revenue).
Bottled wine in demand, especially red Qualitätswein
Overall, this increase in volume has been driven primarily by bottled wines (+9.9%), in particular red Qualitätswein (quality wine). In terms of volume, bottled wines have increased by more than a quarter (+26.2%). In contrast, the export volume for bulk wine fell by 6%.
Promotion: over 4,000 wines showcased internationally
To maintain the global demand for wine from Austria, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board has strengthened its relationships with all international opinion leaders since travel restrictions were imposed in the spring of 2020. They have also relocated the bulk of their activities online and have developed a range of new formats to build loyalty towards Austrian wine among retailers, sommeliers and journalists. Over the course of the year, almost 4,300 wines from 625 vintners have been showcased at 89 events around the world.
(Source: Statistics Austria)
- Export value 2020: €187.3 million (+2.4% up on 2019);
- Export volume 2020: 67.4 million litres (+6.3% up on 2019)
- Avg. price 2020: €2.78 per litre (down €0.11 on 2019); because of international on-trade restrictions, more wine distributed through online and offline trade, for example, multiple grocers and wine specialists
- Increases in the key export markets: Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands
- Monopoly markets of Scandinavia and Canada show significant increases
- USA and Asia falling
- Bottled wine in great demand, especially red Qualitätswein (quality wine)
- Bulk wine in decline
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