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U.S. Surpasses France As Top Global Wine Market, As China Suffers First Decline In Years

May 14, 2014

The U.S. overtook France as the world’s largest wine market last year, with volume up 1% to 329 million cases, according to Impact Databank. The U.S. wine market has expanded by 51 million cases, or 18%, since 2005, as other key wine markets—excluding China—have seen consumption decline over the same period.

Among other leading wine-consuming countries, France, now the world’s second-largest wine market, posted a 7% decline to 313 million cases last year and is down by 53 million cases, or 14%, since 2005. Third-ranked Italy has followed a similar downward path, with wine volume there falling by 65 million cases, or 21%, since 2005, including a 4% drop, to 242 million cases, last year.

The only top-five wine market besides the U.S. to grow by volume last year was fourth-ranked Germany, which rose 1.5% to 226 million cases. Germany’s wine market has had an up-and-down performance lately, but has risen by an aggregate 8 million cases, or 4%, since 2005.

Meanwhile, fifth-ranked China, hit by the government’s ongoing austerity drive and its impact on luxury gift-giving, saw its first decline in recent history last year, falling 6% to 187 million cases. That sudden downturn comes after China’s wine segment had expanded by roughly 55 million cases, or 38%, from 2005-2012.

Overall, global wine consumption was down 1.7% last year to 2.6 billion nine-liter cases, according to Impact Databank’s upcoming 2013 Wine Market report.

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