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Argentine Wine Exports Rise More Slowly Through First Quarter Of 2011

May 11, 2011

Argentine wine’s export growth in the U.S. and abroad continued through the first quarter of 2011, but at a slower pace. Over the first three months of this year, Argentina’s bottled wine exports rose 2% by volume to 4.73 million cases and 16% by value to $160 million, according to the country’s Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura.

In the U.S., Argentina’s largest export market, first quarter volume growth was 7% to 1.8 million cases—a strong advance but slower than the 19% rate in calendar year 2010. Among Argentina’s other top markets, the U.K. was the biggest mover, reversing 2010’s double-digit slide with an advance of nearly 19% in the first quarter, while Canada and the Netherlands declined sharply. Argentina’s smaller export destinations showed healthy progress in the first quarter, rising 10% and demonstrating potential across a broad swath of global markets.

Malbec continues to drive Argentina’s growth. Its portion of bottled exports increased to 47% by volume in the first quarter from 40% in calendar year 2010. That doesn’t include the varietal blends in which Argentine wine is becoming more prevalent. “We’re now seeing more Malbec blends, and that’s being done to stretch the juice further,” says Jim Galtieri, president and ceo of Pasternak Wine Imports, which markets the Bodegas Caro, Rutini and Trumpeter brands. White varietal Torrontes, with a small but rising share of exports, has also become one of Argentina’s signature grapes, helping drive gains for leading Argentine labels like Trapiche (Frederick Wildman & Sons) and Alamos (E&J Gallo), both Impact Hot Brands in 2010.

Argentine Bottled Wine Exports – Top Five Markets
(millions of nine-liter case shipments)
2010 Calendar Year Percent Three Months
Ending March
Rank Market 2009 2010 Change2 2010 2011 Change2
1 USA 5.82 6.95 19.4% 1.683 1.800 7.0%
2 Canada 2.60 2.49 -4.3% 0.579 0.476 -17.9%
3 Brazil 1.54 1.91 24.3% 0.289 0.275 -5.1%
4 UK 1.87 1.62 -13.2% 0.274 0.325 18.7%
5 Netherlands 1.30 1.48 13.6% 0.402 0.296 -26.4%
Total Top Five 13.13 14.45 10.1% 3.228 3.172 -1.7%
Other Markets 6.53 7.07 8.3% 1.407 1.553 10.4%
Total Argentine Bottled Wine Exports1 19.65 21.52 9.5% 4.635 4.725 1.9%
1Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
2Based on unrounded data. 

Source: Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura

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