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German winegrowers face tough competition worldwide


Last year around one million hectoliters of German wine valued at 288 million euros was exported to 130 countries, representing a decline in value of 4 per cent and of 3 per cent in volume. As the German Wine Institute (DWI) announced in the run-up to the international trade fair Prowein in Düsseldorf, entry-level wines were most affected by this development.

By contrast, quality wines are becoming increasingly important in German wine exports, having gained an 85% share of the total export revenue and a 75% share of the export volume. Compared with the previous year, this corresponds to an increase of 2 per cent respectively, thereby continuing the trend towards higher quality wines in exports that has been observed for some time now.

“German wine exporters see themselves up against very stiff international competition especially in the entry-level sector”, explains DWI managing director Monika Reule. “This is amongst other factors due to the declining wine consumption in the large European winegrowing countries. In the past few years, these countries have increased their export activities and – due to the relatively lower production costs - are able to offer their wines at a more favourable price than German producers. Because of this the path we are taking in our wine exports to raise our profile through quality and increase added value for our producers is in the long-term the right one,” says Reule.

The average price of exported quality wines remained unchanged in 2016 at 3.23 €/l, compared with a one cent drop in the mean value for all wines, now at 2.88 €/l. Red quality wines, with a share of 7% of total exports, were exported at an average price of 3.61 €/l

For many years, German wine exporters have generated more than a quarter of their total revenue in the USA. In 2016, 187,000 hectolitres of wine with a value of 80 million euros and an above-average price of 4.26 €/l in the mean were exported to this important trend market.

Ranking second in the export statistics are the Netherlands, where 11% of the total export value was realised and 17% of all exported wines consumed.

With an export volume of 61,000 hectolitres valued at 25 million euros, Norway became the third largest export market last year ahead of Great Britain. At an average price of 4.04 €/l, Germany is the number one supplier of white wines with a market share of 28%. Besides Riesling, there has been a steady increase in demand in Norway for other white wine grapes and now also Spätburgunder.

Exports to Switzerland have also experienced a very dynamic development in recent years. Since 2012, exports to this neighbouring country have doubled to 25.000 hectolitres, with a simultaneous value increase of 75% to 10 million euros and an average price of 4.14 €/l.