Skip to content

US Wine Exports Total $1.36 Billion in 2019

Trade Deals in Canada, Japan & the UK Will Fuel New Export GROWTH

Tokyo Tasting 2019
At the urging of Wine Institute, the U.S. government secured an agreement with Japan to eliminate tariffs on U.S. wine by 2025. Pictured, Tokyo tasting 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. wine exports, more than 95% from California, reached $1.36 billion in winery revenues and 371 million liters (41 million cases) in 2019, according to Wine Institute using Global Trade Atlas data. Total exports were down 6.5% in value and 0.7% in volume. Exchange rates, retaliatory tariffs and increased competition in key markets due to government subsidies and trade agreements all had an impact on the results.

“California wine exports have increased 60% in the last decade and we are optimistic about the future,” said Robert P. Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “Despite challenges in international trade, our focus on trade priorities is showing results and we now have expanded market access in Canada, reached an agreement with Japan to eliminate tariffs on U.S. wine and secured an agreement with the UK that sets up a smooth transition for U.S. wine trade after Brexit.”

The top 10 export markets for California wines in 2019 were: the European Union’s 28-member countries, $427 million; Canada, $424 million; Hong Kong, $113 million; Japan, $92 million; China, $39 million; South Korea, $27 million; Nigeria, $24 million; Mexico, $19 million; Philippines, $18 million; Dominican Republic, $16 million; and Switzerland, $15 million.

“We plan to exceed $2 billion in wine export sales by 2030 and are actively working to expand the number of California wineries that export to help achieve this goal,” said Honore Comfort, Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing. “Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program includes more than 185 wineries that export to 142 countries, and our 13 global representative offices conduct marketing and promotional programs in 25 countries across the globe.”

“We will continue working proactively to eliminate trade barriers in key markets around the world,” said Charles Jefferson, Wine Institute Vice President of Federal and International Public Policy. “Wine Institute urges all governments to refrain from targeting wine in trade disputes that have nothing to do with wine.”

Wine Institute’s Regional Trade Directors in key export markets reported on 2019 exports:

Canada

“Over the past year, we have seen some softening of U.S. wine sales both in value and volume in Canada, attributed to a strong U.S. dollar and changing consumer trends. However, the good news is that California’s premium and higher price point segments are growing as consumers continue to trade up,” according to Danielle Giroux, Wine Institute Trade Director for Canada. “California remains the third largest country of origin by volume in Canada. With renewed efforts and focus on key markets, brand building channel promotions and exciting consumer activations, we expect California wines to grow and build market share.”

Continental Europe

“Overall, 2019 was a good year for California wines in Europe, in established markets as well as in emerging markets. Imports of U.S. wines into Germany, our largest export market in continental Europe, reached $100 million in 2019 as more and more consumers are attracted by the “new” style of California wines, with less oak and less alcohol. And in Russia for instance, as more wineries are signing up distributors, California was up 23% to almost $10 million,” said Paul Molleman, Wine Institute Trade Director for Continental Europe. 

United Kingdom & Ireland

“While the past 12 months have been challenging for the UK wine community with Brexit uncertainty and currency headwinds, U.S. wine has held its position very strongly and even managed to grow the total value of exports in 2019 by 2% compared to 2018,” commented Justine McGovern, Wine Institute Joint Trade Director, UK and Ireland. “Although the total volume of U.S. wines exported to the UK dropped by 4.3% in 2019 compared to 2018, it remained up 8.3% versus 2017. This volume adjustment from 2018 to 2019 is likely a result of importers stocking up their holdings in late 2018 ahead of the original proposed Brexit date of March 29, 2019 to avoid possible disruption. As the UK remakes its place in the world after Brexit, the California Wine Institute UK is securely placed with strong strategies, focus and good allies.”

Japan

“In 2019, U.S. wine exports to Japan experienced a minimal 0.54% decline in value while volume was also down slightly by 2.08%. This occurred during the first year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which allowed European producers double-digit growths in their exports to this market. The relatively small ‘hit’ on the U.S. wine category is a testament to our sound premium position. Additionally, the newly implemented U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which has begun to phase out the tariff on U.S. wine will support California’s wine export business and help build visibility of California wine in the market,” said Hiro Tejima, Wine Institute Joint Trade Director for Japan. 

China & Pacific Rim

“In general, a strong dollar and a challenging trade and tariff environment had a negative impact of exports of California wines to Asia, especially China and Hong Kong where exports declined by 34% and 13%  respectively. Despite these declines, during 2019 Hong Kong remained the third largest export market globally and China remained the fifth largest in terms of value of exports. In a positive development, the Chinese government is now inviting U.S. wine importers to apply for tariff relief for up to 25% of the existing 54% tariff level. Additionally, online promotion and sales continue to grow in China through multiple channels. Other Asian bright spots included exports to Korea with a 7% increase and the Philippines with a 29% increase. Asian countries consistently rank higher in terms of value of exports versus quantity of exports, signaling that the market is demanding higher value wines. Additionally, Emerging Asia is expected to experience solid growth of 6.3% through 2022 according to the OECD, overshadowing growth rates in more mature markets globally,” said Christopher Beros, Wine Institute Trade Director for China and Pacific Rim.

Mexico

In 2019, U.S. wine exports to Mexico experienced a softening compared to the healthy growth rates of the past two years. A new government and a subsidized consumer policy encouraging citizens to buy local, led to a 28% decline in U.S. wine exports by value. The long-term prospects for California wine sales in Mexico, however, remain very strong. Not only are more Mexican consumers discovering the premium wines of California, but more California wineries are looking to export to Mexico,” said Adriana Cadena, Wine Institute Trade Director for Mexico.

 

California Wine Export Program

Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, a cost-share export promotion program managed by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Wine Institute’s Export Program supports California Wines worldwide with a consumer website discovercaliforniawines.com in nine languages, social media campaigns, educational tools and videos, and a strong partnership with Visit California to increase tourism to California wine regions. Wine Institute organizes California’s participation in international trade shows and trade missions, offers master classes and seminars as well as tastings for trade, media and consumers worldwide. Last year, the program also hosted 120 international media and wine buyers from 20 countries for California wine country visits. For program information, visit calwinexport.com.

 

Media Contact
Wine Institute Communications Department

communications@wineinstitute.org

US WINE EXPORTS* Year to Date: January-December 2018 & 2019
Partner Country
Ranked by 2019 Value
2018 Value
(U.S. Dollars)
Revenues to Wineries
2019 Value
(U.S. Dollars)
Revenues to Wineries
Variance
'18 & 19
(Percent)
2018 Volume (Liters) 2019 Volume (Liters) Variance
'18 & 19
(Percent)
European Union Total** $468,748,539 $426,628,811 - 8.99 203,468,262 207,390,771 1.93
Canada $449,049,287 $424,478,093 - 5.47 74,791,453 69,239,029 - 7.42
Hong Kong $129,801,995 $112,745,167 - 13.14 10,027,994 9,296,501 - 7.29
Japan $92,935,575 $92,437,526 - 0.54 18,086,679 17,710,776 - 2.08
China $59,220,800 $39,130,540 - 33.92 12,318,466 9,004,370 - 26.90
South Korea $25,494,721 $27,212,545 6.74 4,824,143 5,992,688 24.22
Nigeria $15,130,610 $23,614,214 56.07 2,434,640 4,360,853 79.12
Mexico $26,931,286 $19,283,669 - 28.40 7,992,441 5,567,006 - 30.35
Philippines $13,711,562 $17,697,385 29.07 4,888,131 6,590,361 34.82
Dominican Republic $14,411,204 $16,467,011 14.27 3,439,617 4,155,753 20.82
Switzerland $9,525,909 $14,578,783 53.04 1,823,726 2,348,177 28.76
OTHER COUNTRIES $151,163,363 $148,180,898 - 1.97 170,636,582 164,025,181 - 3.87
WORLD TOTAL $1,456,538,081 $1,362,454,642 - 6.46 374,104,844 371,415,952 - 0.72

Source: Wine Institute & Global Trade Atlas, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Preliminary numbers. Includes hard cider. History revised.

* Statistics exclude re-exported wine due to U.S. DOC changing its reporting to exclude this wine.
** Stats for the 28 EU countries are combined because transshipments to final destinations in neighboring countries make a country-by-country breakdown not reflective of actual consumption in each country.

To convert liters to gallons, multiply liters by .26418. To convert liters to cases, divide liters by 9.

 

US WINE EXPORTS 2002 – 2019

Bar Chart of US Wine Exports 2002-2019

Source: Wine Institute & Global Trade Atlas, using U.S. Dept. of Commerce data.
US WINE EXPORTS 2002 – 2019
Year Volume
(Millions of Gallons)
Volume
(Millions of Liters)
Volume
(Millions of Cases)
Value
(Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Revenues to Wineries
2019 98.1 371.4 41.3 $1,362
2018 98.8 374.1 41.6 $1,457
2017 100.4 380.1 42.2 $1,530
2016 109.0 412.6 45.8 $1,620
2015 121.9 461.3 51.3 $1,603
2014 117.0 442.7 49.2 $1,494
2013 115.1 435.8 48.4 $1,553
2012 106.9 404.8 45.0 $1,336
2011 111.4 421.6 46.8 $1,297
2010 107.6 407.3 45.3 $1,064
2009 106.4 402.8 44.8 $859
2008 124.5 474.9 52.8 $963
2007 115.9 438.8 48.8 $911
2006 105.1 397.9 44.2 $843
2005 101.5 384.1 42.7 $659
2004 119.1 451.0 50.1 $796
2003 92.3 349.2 38.8 $621
2002 73.4 277.8 30.9 $542

Source: Wine Institute & Global Trade Atlas, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Preliminary numbers. Includes hard cider. History revised.

* Statistics exclude re-exported wine due to U.S. DOC changing its reporting to exclude this wine.
** Stats for the 28 EU countries are combined because transshipments to final destinations in neighboring countries make a country-by-country breakdown not reflective of actual consumption in each country.

To convert liters to gallons, multiply liters by .26418. To convert liters to cases, divide liters by 9.