Italian wine exports decrease in the year of Covid

  ROME – Italian wine exports were at 6.29 billion euros in 2020 – a fall of 2.2 per cent from the previous year. The second quarter of the year saw a huge drop in exports with the arrival of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, however things began to pick up in the last part of the year.

  The processing of Islat data by the Osservatorio Qualivita Wine reveals 2020 was a year of great fluctuation for the Italian wine industry. 2020 began strongly, with a 5.2 per cent increase in exports in the first quarter in comparison to 2019 (from 1.44 billion in 2019 to 1.55 billion in 2020). But with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic the wine industry suffered; the closing of bars and restaurants meant less demand for wine and exports decreased overall by 12.6 per cent in the second quarter of the year (from 1.5 billion in 2019 to 1.38 billion in 2020). The third quarter suffered less drastically, with only a 1.9 per cent decrease (from 1.59 billion in 2019 to 1.38 billion in 2020). Luckily, the end of 2020 showed positive signs and a sign of recovery from the economic damage caused by the pandemic, with a +0.7% increase in exports in the fourth quarter of the year (from 1.83 billion in 2019 to 1.84 billion in 2020).

  Export to African markets saw the biggest decrease in 2020 (-33.6 per cent), followed by Asian markets (-12.6 per cent), with a decrease of -26.5 per cent in China. However Europe, which accounts for 62 per cent of Italian exports worldwide, saw an overall increase (+0.2 per cent), helped by a strong increase of  +17.5 per cent in wine exports to the Netherlands.

   Across the top 5 regions of Italy, 3 actually saw an increase in wine exports: Piedmont (+2.6 per cent), Trentino-South Tyrol (+4.3 per cent) and Emilia-Romagna (+3.4 per cent). However, declines can be seen in Veneto (-3.3 per cent) and Tuscany (-3.2 per cent).

  The overall picture sees a decrease in wine exports in Italy in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic having clear effects. However, with positive statistics from the fourth quarter of the year and the eventual reopening of the tourist industry, it is looking optimistic for 2021.