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EU: EU drinks exports to US under threat – statistics

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European Union (EU) drinks exports to the US are under pressure, according to economic analysis from the European Commission.

The Commission's latest 'Monitoring Agri-trade Policy' report, released late last week, warns that "for the past two years, the US appears to be a declining market for the EU" for food and drink, with alcoholic beverages accounting for seven of the top ten products.

Food and drink exports fell by 4% year-on-year in 2007, by EUR500,000 (US$824,850), with a steeper decline of EUR1bn in 2008.

The report noted that the most dramatic decline was for bottled water sales, which plunged by over 50%, or EUR350m in 2008.

Significant falls were also recorded for vodka and whisk(e)y, which declined by between 15% and 20% each, drops of over EUR100m each.

Beer sales also fell, albeit by around only 2%, or approximately EUR100m.

The report noted, however, that EU drinks sales to Russia have been rising in the last two years, despite the recession.

Wine was the EU's biggest food and drink export, valued at an annual average of EUR1.7bn in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The full report can be found here.


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