The month of March is not enough to bring back the balance of Italian wine exports, which, in the first quarter of 2021, closed at 1.444 billion euros, down 3.9% on the same period of 2020, in any case in strong recovery over the month of February, so much so that it was back in line with the first quarter of 2019, the last reference before Covid, when shipments reached 1.435 billion euros, or 0.7% more than this beginning of 2021, as emerges from the analysis by WineNews on Istat data updated to March 2021. All the main markets are down, with the exception of Switzerland, Russia and China, in decisive and constant countertrend.
But let’s start with the geographically closest market, France, where shipments of Italian wine in the first three months of 2021 stopped at 39.6 million euros, down by -4.4% on the first quarter of 2020, and by -11.6% on 2019. In Switzerland, as mentioned, Italian wine grows by 10.5%, going from 85.8 million euros in the first quarter of 2020 to 94.8 million euros in the same period of 2020, in any case 2.6% less than in 2019. He loses something Germany, which went from 269 million euros in the first quarter of 2020 to 262 million euros in 2021, or -2.7%, with a large increase (+ 14.4%) on 2019.
Still painful notes From United Kingdom, where imports of Italian wine, in the first quarter of 2021, stopped and 113 million euros, down 19.9% on 2020, and even 32.7% on the same period of 2019: the effects of Brexit, which pushed – or in any case supported – shipments and the rush for supplies a year ago, is now fully felt. It loses something too Norway, which in the first three months of 2021 imported wine from Italy for 22 million euros, 9.2% less than in 2020, but above (+ 2.8%) the levels of 2019. Same dynamics for there Sweden, which closes the first quarter of 2021 with 44.3 million euros of wine imported from Italy, 13.1% less than in 2020, but up 8% on 2019. The latest European market of great interest, the Russia, where shipments of made in Italy wine reached 25.4 million euros in the first three months (+ 17.1%), growing strongly (+ 25.1%) also on 2019.
Therefore, going overseas, in what is the first Italian wine market, imports from the United States reached 357.4 million euros, marking a decrease of 12.1%, much more contained in comparison with 2019 (-2.7%): here, more than the pandemic, the duties imposed by the Administration weighed Trump, on the wines of Spain, France and Germany, which gave great impetus, a year ago, to Italian productions and shipments. Imports too of Canada are holding back: 72.3 million euros of Italian wine arrived from Italy in the first quarter, 11.7% less than in the same period of 2020, but something more than in 2019 (+ 1.4%).
On the Asian markets, it continues to grow the China, at 28 million euros of Italian wine imported in the first three months of 2021, 66.7% more than a year ago, and 6% less than in the same period of 2019. The South Korea, which is experiencing a 2021 above expectations: in the first quarter of 2021, imports of Italian wine amounted to 19.3 million euros, 135.4% more than at the beginning of 2020, and 111% more than in 2019. Again negative sign, the only market in Asia, for Japan: in the first quarter of 2021, wine shipments to Tokyo lost 8.8%, to 35.2 million euros, also down compared to 2019 (-14.4%). Finally, the small but rich hub of Hong Kong, the gateway to many fine wines and one of the three main venues for wine auction sales: with 5.3 million euros of wine imported from Italy, in the first quarter it gained 15.2% on 2020, down 19.7% on the same period of 2019.