Commercial Banking

U.S. remains top opportunity for global wine industry, says new report

Adam Beak
Posted by Adam Beak
Agribusiness Banking

Did you know that one in four bottles of wine is consumed outside the country where it’s made?

Several orderly rows of green vines in a hilly vineyard, with a large lake and mountains in the distance.That’s just one of the surprising insights in a new report from Agrifrance, a special division of BNP Paribas Wealth Management. The report contains a focus on the U.S. wine market, which has become a main driver of growth in the global wine industry.

The top-line figures declare U.S. the leading market for wine consumption (13% of world consumption) and the 4th largest producer worldwide, based on 2016 data from the International Organization of Vine and Wine. Italy, France, and Spain — in that order — topped the list of worldwide producers.

The report’s findings are welcome news for Bank of the West’s Beverage Group as it continues to work with clients on an international scale, especially in Europe. As I discussed in a previous post, we are seeing greater interest in the U.S. wine market from European clients, many of whom also work with our parent company, BNP Paribas.

European interest in the U.S. market makes sense. U.S. wine production has become a major driver of global sales, setting a new export record in 2016 of $1.62 billion in foreign trade revenue. In fact, according to Vinexpo/IWSR data, export growth for U.S. wine is estimated at more than 3.5% by 2018. Sparkling wine is expected to lead this growth trend, with an estimated 6.1% lift in sales.

U.S. consumers remain a valuable opportunity for international vintners, as annual wine imports have risen almost continually since 2000. Italy and France, respectively, are the top two suppliers to the U.S. market by value, according to the report.

From my perspective, the report underscores a benefit to winemakers of working with Bank of the West and BNP Paribas. Just as wine is produced locally and can benefit domestic consumers, it also enjoys demand that creates international market opportunities. Our clients may reap great value from a banking relationship that has both local expertise and international reach.

For more information, read the full Agrifrance report.

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