Wine Trade “booming” In 2021

Food & Drink

If 2021 was very difficult for wine production (see our report on 2021 wine production here), the situation is quite different for wine exports. The very first numbers on international trade in wine are rosy, released recently by the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine).

International wine trade, measured in value, in the first semester of 2021 increased with an impressive 21% from the year before. However, these numbers can be a bit misleading, since exports in 2020 were depressed due to, among other things, covid. Comparing to the last “normal” year, 2019, may make more sense. The increase is still good, up 6%, although not quite as much, which motivates the quote marks in the heading.

The big driver is trade in sparkling wine: up 26% on 2020, and up 12% compared to 2019.

Bottled wine value increased by 12% on 2020 and +22% compared to 2019.

Bag-in-box increased by +9% on 2020 and +10 compared to 2019.

Bulk wine is the odd man out. It fell in 2021 by 1% compared to 2020, and the same number (-1%) compared to 2019.

Country-by-country numbers show some interesting changes too.


China imports dropped, continuing the trend of China’s diminishing role.

Big increases were seen in Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Denmark.

The top five importers, in value, are the USA, the UK, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.


Australia’s exports dropped significantly, which is, no doubt, due to the trade barriers put up by China.

A big drop was also seen (compared to 2019) in the UK exports, which is mainly re-exports. This, combined with the increasing numbers of imports to the Netherlands, Switzerland and Hong Kong, seems to be a clear signal that Brexit is having a significant effect on world wine trade.

The top five exporters, in value, are France, Italy, Spain, Chile, and Australia.

Keep in mind that this is numbers only for the first semester of 2021.

All data from the OIV.

—Per Karlsson

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