Japan Market update: January – April import figures

New data are available from the Statistics Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and have been published on the June 11th  (number 1880) issue of Shuhan News. Here the most relevant figures:

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As always the big match is between France and Chile, at least if we consider quantity. Value data are not available, but I suspect France being ahead (high priced wines all lies in the under 2L category). Italy and Spain do not fare bad, while exotic countries like Macedonia and Mexico made an impressive increase though it is not clear how long their growth will last.

France dominion in the sparkling sector is evident and confirmed by Vincent Perrin, general director at CIVC, who visited Japan on May 18th. According to monsieur Perrin, whose words have been reported by the June 1st issue of Shuhan News, in 2014 Champagne sales increased by 21% (looking at value), which makes Japan the third biggest foreign market after USA and the UK. Japanese people are particularly fond of high level champagne, with the “prestige champagne” category (not really defined in the article) amounting to 10% of the quantity imported and 27% of the value.

Bad news for the fortified wine producers, with quantity decreasing for all exporting countries. There is a global trend in fortified wines towards a decrease in export volume with a simultaneous increase in export value: this might be also the case of Japan, but sadly there are no data available to confirm this (and figures from IVDP and IVBAM for 2014 are note very reassuring). With still wine slowly increasing year by year is a bit sad to see Porto, Sherry and Co. struggling thus. Lack of aperitif culture? Excessive alcohol levels? Difficulty in food pairing? Questions that must be posed and possibly answered if producers want to stop this downward trend.

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