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Germany: Exports Decline After Small Harvest


Just prior to the ProWein international wine trade fair in Düsseldorf, the German Wine Institute/Mainz reported that in 2014, German wine exporters shipped ca. 1.2 million hectolters of wine worth 315 million euros. This is a decrease of 9.2 percent in volume and 5.6 percent in value compared with the year before.

“Export declines are primarily due to the below-average size of the harvest in 2013, which was the reason why German wine producers were unable to fully meet demand in nearly all foreign markets,” explained Monika Reule, the director of the wine institute. As a result, there were some substitutions for entry-level wines, particularly in price-sensitive markets.

Fortunately, compared with 2013, the average price per liter increased in all export markets. At a price of 2.68 euro per exported liter, ten cents more could be achieved than in the preceding year. Quality wines, which account for about three quarters of export volume, posted a five percent increase in value, or 14 cents more per liter. On average, they were exported at a price of 2.97 euro per liter, although here, it’s necessary to differentiate among individual markets.

“In all, this is a positive development. It encourages us in our efforts to export higher-priced German wines and position them in the wine and restaurant trades abroad,” emphasized Reule.

Exports to Great Britain, Norway, China, and Poland, for example, registered slight increases in value. Sales growth in the price range over seven pounds and new listings in British chain stores accounted for the value increases in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, in Germany’s third most important export market, an increasing number of younger consumers have been discovering the advantages of German wines.

In Norway, which ranks fourth among Germany’s export countries, the average price per liter increased by 40 cents to 4.37 euros per liter, and the value of exports grew by 5.4 percent to 26 million euros. Last year, German wine producers were able to maintain their leading position in the white wine sector in Norway. In addition to Riesling, other white wine varieties – and even German Pinot Noirs – were increasingly in demand.

The USA continued to be the most important foreign market for German wines, accounting for one fourth of the total value of German wine exports, followed by the Netherlands, with a share of twelve percent.