US wine exports recover value, volumes creep up

US wine exports recover value, volumes creep up

The value of US wine exports has rebounded strongly in the first nine months of 2010, according to new figures from the California Wine Institute.

Exports of US-made wine for the nine months to the end of September rose by 25% on the same period of last year, to US$807.7m, said the Wine Institute at the end of last week. The figure shows that exports continued to rebound strongly in the third quarter of 2010 and it puts the sector on-track to recover from a 9.5% drop in the value of exports in 2009.

However, it is unclear how much of the rebound has been driven by the weak US dollar. Export volumes increased at a slower pace for the nine months, up by just 3% to 323m litres, indicating that the sector has yet to make up all of the ground lost in the global economic downturn.

In the 12 months of 2009, US wine exports fell by 15% in volume, to 418m litres, despite a 16% rise in the fourth quarter. US wine exporters have struggled due to an ongoing cocktail of tough conditions in the UK.

California represents 90% of US wine exports and the state exports around a fifth of its production.