• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports

Jessica Jones · 3 Mar 2015, 14:11

Published: 03 Mar 2015 14:11 GMT+01:00

Spain is a relative newcomer on the international circuit, compared to the French and Italians, yet it has beaten records to become the biggest wine exporter in the world.

According to data published on February 23rd by Spanish wine market observatory (Obervatorio Español de los Mercados del Vino – OEM) Spanish wine exports reached 22.8 million hectoliters in 2014, a 22.3 percent rise on 2013.

But while the volume of sales has increased, profits have fallen 2.2 percent since 2013.

According to the latest data, France is now the biggest buyer of Spanish wines; guzzling 5.8 million hectoliters in 2014, a 40 percent rise on the previous year, followed by Germany, Portugal and Russia.

But if Spain is the biggest exporter of wine in the world, why have profits fallen? The answer may lie in the fact that the majority of wine exported from Spain, 55 percent, is sold in bulk, i.e. not bottled.

"Wine must be exported each year to make space in the wineries for the new grape harvest," Nairy Chaglasyan, Area Manager for J García Carrión, which exports wine to 155 countries worldwide and is the biggest wine producer in Europe and fourth in the world, told The Local.

"Most of the cooperatives sell their wine in bulk - it’s much quicker than having to bottle it - and although there isn’t much profit at least the costs are covered."

Spain, home to the biggest vineyards in the world, has always sold in bulk to its neighbours but profits are falling - the latest figures reveal that in 2014 the average price was 40 cents per litre, compared to 60 cents the year before.

It is often more economic for France to export wine in bulk from Spain and then label it, rather than growing the grapes and making the wine themselves.  

"France has been buying wine in bulk from Spain for years to bottle and sell as its own, (with an EU denomination) or not clearly identifying the origin," said Chaglasyan, who points out that the company she works only sells bottled wine with declared Spanish origin. 

"The French import Spanish bulk for their 'vin de table', for blends and also for re-export - there have been lots of scandals involving French producers mislabeling 'their' wine destined for export to the US."

Story continues below…

Another important factor in why Spanish wines are so cheap compared to their competitors, according to Chaglasyan, is that Spain opened up to the international market relatively late.

"Both France and Italy have a much better international presence, they have more experience in marketing their products and have been exporting for much longer than Spanish producers."

According to Chaglasyan, if Spain wants to keep its crown as the world’s biggest exporter along with increasing profits, the country has to work on selling itself and its wine, focusing less on the distinct regions of the country and pushing Spanish wine as a whole. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Madrid LGBT group takes action over ‘gay cure therapy’
Madrid introduced anti-homophobic laws earlier this month. Photo: AFP

A Spanish pressure group that fights against homophobia has filed a complaint against a therapist who offers “to cure homosexuality”.

Expat Spain: Warm, friendly and brilliant for family life
Spain is one of the best nations for expats. Photo: theinterngroup.com/ Flickr

A great climate and friendly locals make up for the lack of career opportunities in Spain, according to a survey ranking the quality of life for expats around the world.

La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about epic fiesta

Every year on the last Wednesday in August the town of Buñol prepares to get seriously messy when it stages what has become the world's biggest food fight.

Costa del Sol beach closed over shark fears
The Civil Guard patrolled the beach looking for the shark. Photo: Pedrator_desert/ Twitter

Thought jellyfish were a nuisance? Fuengirola just got a lot scarier.

The Local List
15 amazing Unesco World Heritage sites to visit in Spain
The town of Ávila. Photo: Chroniron/Wikimedia Commons.

Spain has an impressive 45 locations listed as Unesco World Heritage sites for their cultural significance or natural beauty, including some that are entire towns. Here's a look at some of the most stunning.

Rajoy says forming new government ‘a wish’
Spain has been subject to a political deadlock for the past eight months. Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP file picture

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned Saturday ahead of parliament's confidence vote for a second term in office that the formation of a new government remained "more of a wish".

Spanish police smash Chinese immigration ring
The Chinese nationals paid the ring about €8,000 to get a fake work contract. Photo: Cristina Quicler /AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had smashed a major ring allegedly providing Chinese nationals living illegally in the country with fake contracts as domestic staff so they could get residency permits.

Gallery
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
Photo: Ignacio Palomo Duarte/Flickr

While we've all been tempted by the Spanish holiday classic of a chilled glass of sangria, Spain has much more to offer when it comes to tantalizing tipples.

Property
Buy your own Mediterranean island paradise for just €5m

Got a spare €5 million? Then this Mediterranean island paradise could be yours.

Vamos a la playa! These are Spain's top ten beaches
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Europe's best beach. Photo:Photo: Ismail Mia/Flickr

Spain has five beaches in Europe's top ten. The Local gives you a tour.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Features
Eight reasons to spend your gap year exploring Spain
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
International
'We won't ban burqinis on our beaches' insists Barcelona
National
British dad drowns saving daughter on red flagged beach
National
11 Spanish words that English must adopt right now
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Justin Bieber just bought an amazing new pad in Lanzarote
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Recipe: How to make Andalusian Ajo Blanco soup
Travel
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Travel
Ten touristy types you'll meet in Spain: Which one are you?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain
International
Don't miss this spectacular meteor shower over Spain
Travel
Desperate Ryanair passenger chases after missed flight
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2016
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
National
German firestarter blames blaze on 'toilet paper mishap'
National
Flashmob prank sparks 'terror attack' panic in Spanish resort
Culture
Croquemon Go: Spain invents twist on game to 'eat 'em all'
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
National
Spanish parents fight for right to name their son 'Wolf'
National
Beach closed after shark attack in southern Spain
National
Spain ups security at tourist spots as terrorism fears grow
3,239
jobs available