Italian wine exports are on the decrease. Figures released today by the Italian agriculture statistics agency ISMEA show a drop in exports by 17% year-on-year to 9.5m hectolitres in the first nine months of 2003.

Exports of Italian wine to Germany fell by 17% year-on-year, while exports to the US decreased by 6.5%.

Italy registered a deficit in wine trade with Spain of €14m (US$17.4m) between January and September last year compared to a surplus of €50m at the end of the 1990s, according to ISMEA's figures.