Chilean wine exports have suffered in early 2009, particularly to the UK, its main importer in 2008.
 
January exports fell 11.7% by volume and 9.6% by value, according to trade body Wines of Chile, compared to the same period last year. February exports dropped 23.8% and 21.4% in volume and value respectively.
 
The drop, said Maximiliano Morales of local marketing consultancy Andes Wines, is due to the global economic slowdown and also to high stocks of costlier Chilean wines held just prior to September 08.
 
"Chile achieved higher prices on bottled wines in those months,' he said. "Right after the crisis, orders from importers were stopped so the trade could get stocks out."
 
Local reports estimate total Chilean export volumes fell 6% - 9% in 2008.