ISMEA Releases Italian Wine Statistics for 2012

Income UP; Exports Strong; USA Still a Major Market

By Jack Brostrom, posted May 8, 2013

At a seminar at the trade fair Vinitaly in Verona on April 7, 2013, representatives of ISMEA (Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare/Service Institute for the Agricultural and Food Market) presented its report on Italian wine production and sales for 2011–2012. Overall, Italian wine production reached a total of 43 million hectoliters (the equivalent of 478 million nine-liter cases of wine), amounting to some €2.8 billion in value.

Wine from Protected Designations of Origin (DOP in Italian), which in Italy includes both DOCGs and DOCs, totaled 15.0 million hectoliters, worth roughly €1.5 billion. IGP wine was nearly as large a category at 14.3 million hectoliters, with a value of €800 million. The market for Italian wine continues to rely more heavily on exports, as domestic demand softens. Per capita wine consumption in Italy has fallen to around 36 liters annually, from more than 80 liters a generation ago.

On the bright side, prices have increased despite the economic downturn, so despite a drop in sales volume of 3.2 percent in 2012, income actually increased by 1.3 percent. IGP wines, especially reds, bore the brunt of the sales decrease. Exports to the United States, by contrast, showed a decrease of 6 percent at the DOP level and an increase of 8 percent for IGPs.

The top 10 denominations with the largest production volumes account for more than 15 percent of total wine production, led by Prosecco, Asti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Chianti, and Valpolicella. The top 10 IGPs provide an even greater percentage of Italy’s wines, approaching 25 percent. The leaders in that category are Sicilia (now a DOC), Veneto, Emilia, Salento, and Marca Trevigiana.

ISMEA is a public institution that furnishes analysis and information services for the Italian agricultural sector, including the wine industry. Vinitaly is the premier exhibition of Italian wine, a trade event held annually at the Veronafiere fairgrounds complex in Verona in northeastern Italy. Created in 1967, Vinitaly now hosts 4,000 vendor-exhibitors and 150,000 visitors from all over the world during its four-day span.

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