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US 'most attractive wine market', report finds, as China falls out of top five

harpers.co.uk by Lisa Riley08/08/2019  

The US has again topped the list as the most attractive wine market in the world, though the sustained volume growth of the past decade has largely subsided, according to Wine Intelligence’s Global Compass 2019 report.

It said the US’ continued Compass attractiveness rating "rests largely on the willingness of American consumers to trade up in terms of the price they pay for the wine they do buy, while other categories such as craft beer and spirits compete more strongly for share of personal alcoholic beverage consumption".

The top five is rounded out by Canada, France, Germany and The Netherlands, which has moved up this year from 9th place in 2018. South Korea has also seen a significant increase in 'attractiveness', making it into the top 10 for the first time.

The good news from Compass 2019 was that “more people are paying more money for their wine around the world than ever before”, said Luis Osorio, senior project manager and editor of Compass.

On the other hand, he added, “large numbers of wine drinkers are moderating their consumption of wine, perhaps because of health reasons, perhaps because other alcohol categories are taking share”.

“The key uncertainty remains how the global trade picture changes during the next 12 months. An escalation of the Trump tariff war and the threat of a disorderly Brexit are known factors, but unquantifiable at the moment given the range of possible outcomes they represent,” he said.

China has fallen to 6th place in the Compass ranking, mainly the result of the first sustained decline in imported wines in five years and slowing economic growth, according to the report.

As volume and value growth turn negative, Australia has been reclassified within the report from ‘established’ to ‘mature’, while Brazil has transitioned from ‘emerging’ to ‘growth’, with the benefits of a more established (and mainly e-commerce driven) supply chain offset by continuing economic underperformance.

Positive economic performance and a broadening market for imported wines have boosted the Compass rating of Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovenia, said Wine Intelligence.

Based largely on growing import volumes - albeit still from a relatively low base, India has entered the top 40 for the first time. In contrast, Russia has tumbled down the rankings, mainly on the back of major volume and value declines in the wine market.