German wine exports slowed down in 2020


Punitive tariffs in the USA and the global Covid-19 pandemic led to significant declines in exports of German wines in many foreign markets last year.


As reported by the German Wine Institute (DWI), both the amount of wine exported and its value decreased by nine percent compared to 2019, to 953,000 hectolitres and 277 million euros. However, within the individual export markets there were very large differences with winners and losers.

US exports are hampered by punitive tariffs

In their most important export market, the USA, German wine producers had to cope with a loss in value of 19 percent, or twelve million euros, last year due to the punitive tariffs. This comprises 42 percent of the worldwide sales decline in German wine exports. The decrease in the amount of wine exported to the United States was comparatively moderate at six percent (9,000 hectolitres). This can be attributed to the fact that the market participants on both sides of the Atlantic have absorbed part of the 25 percent increase in tariffs.

The decline in export revenues for German wines in such important foreign markets as the Netherlands (minus five percent), China (minus three percent) or Canada (minus nine percent) can largely be attributed to the fallout from the pandemic.

Exports to Scandinavian countries on the rise

On the other hand, wine exports to the Scandinavian countries developed very positively. At the top is Norway, which, with an increase of 26 percent in export value and 40 percent in sales, consolidated its second place in the ranking of the wine export markets. Sweden is still in sixth place after an increase of three percent in export value and Finland has moved up to eighth place with an increase of 14 percent. In Denmark, German wines have seen a particularly large increase in value of 30 percent.

Settlement of the subsidy dispute would bring confidence

In view of the first-class wine quality that was produced in Germany last year, DWI managing director Monika Reule is confident that German wine exports will develop positively again if the subsidy dispute between the EU and the USA can be resolved and the corona pandemic is over.

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© Paul Teysen

German wine exports 2020 by value (millions of euro)