National wine exports rose 3 percent in 2018, reaching 803 million euros, revealed the president of ViniPortugal on the sidelines of the inauguration of the new tasting room in Oporto.
“We had a very good first half and a very bad last quarter”, which is why growth was three percent, with “a drop in fortified wines”, such as in Porto and Madeira, and “a rise in table wines”, specified Jorge Monteiro.
The same official said that other producing countries had similar performances, including “South Africa, which grew 4.2 percent in value, Australia 2.8 and France 2.4”.
The president of ViniPortugal affirms that for some years the market of liqueur wines has stagnated, which has been compensated by the favorable performance of the table wines.
“There are two markets that greatly influenced these results” of Portuguese wines, “Angola, which continues to fall, about 15 percent in 2018, and China, which has stagnated”, said Jorge Monteiro, adding that “Macau and Hong Kong have fallen”.
The official said that “France behaved similarly to Portugal in the Chinese market, and also saw a decline in its exports, and “apparently the only country that won in China was Australia”.
“Therefore, China, along with Macao and Hong Kong and Angola were the main responsible for this decrease”, he said.
Jorge Monteiro concluded that the Portuguese wine had “a good performance”, but below the expectation. “Still, we would hope that our economy would grow like these exports”, he noted, pointing out that “the world market is undergoing some problems today.”
Harvest of 2018 “was short”
For this year, the fiscal year carries risks because the “international situation is of some uncertainty” and this requires maximum attention, he said.
“The international economy is cooling, there is Brexit and we do not know what is happening in China. It’s too early to make predictions”, said Jorge Monteiro.
In addition, the “harvest of 2018 was short and the production lower by 600 thousand hectoliters”, reason why Jorge Monteiro fears “a smaller capacity of Market supply, that can compel to buy more wine in competing markets, like Spain and France, to maintain export capacity”.
ViniPortugal, as an interprofessional organization of Portuguese wine, grouping different agents of the sector, executed the promotional actions of Portuguese wine foreseen for 2018 and “very consumer oriented” and for 2019 it has “seven million euros” to invest in this area, according to its president.
This year, he said, the institution will “work with Mexico and Denmark for the first time” and, because the distribution has improved, it will focus more on consumers than on professionals”, which already happens in Brazil and will happen in the United States, where a “big event” is planned.