Wine exports from the EU reached an all-time high in 2015

Wine exports from the EU reached an all-time high in 2015

The value of wine exports from the European Union reached its highest level last year, according to figures released by the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV).

The trade organisation said exports were up 8.9% to EUR9.8bn (US$10.69bn) in the year. In volume terms, exports lifted 3% to 21.9m hectolitres - or 2.9bn bottles. 

"Again, the European Union remains the most important wine exporter worldwide and, after three years of relative stability, attained its best-ever performance in 2015," said Jean-Marie Barillère, president of CEEV. "This leads to a combined positive trade balance for the EU of over EUR7bn." 

Performance was driven by an 18% lift in export value to the US market, which is now worth EUR3.15bn and remains the bloc's largest market.

Meanwhile, EU wine exports to China were up 26% in value and 29% in volumes. "After two years of decreases, following the trade dispute between EU and China, 2015 exports reached their highest level, both in volume and value," the CEEV said.

The US and China are joined by Switzerland, Canada and Japan to make up the five main export markets by value. 

But, CEEV secretary general Ignacio Sánchez Recarte warned that trade agreements need to be addressed if the EU is to keep up with increased world competition: "From our five main export markets in value, only fair market access and competition is consolidated through an agreement in Switzerland," Recarte said. "We strongly encourage the European Commission to conclude positively as soon as possible its negotiations with USA and Japan and to start negotiations with China."

Recarte went on to describe trade neogiations with Canada as having been "particularly painful".

"Negotiations on CETA [Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement] concluded in October 2013 and we are still waiting for the ratification of the trade agreement," he said.  

Last month, the trade body for Provence wines reported a leap in exports to the US during 2015. 

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