Australia tops the list but Chile is one of the only major producer nations expected to increase shipments in the next few years, as the UK overall cuts its wine consumption in favour of less but better, says new forecast.
UK wine imports: Top countries
Data published jointly by Vinexpo and IWSR shows that Australia exports the most still wine to the UK, by volume. In 2016, the UK imported 24.5 million nine litre cases of Australian wines, equivalent to nearly 300 million bottles of wine.
This was followed by the US, which accounted for 15.7 million nine litre cases of wine imported, closely followed by France at 15 million cases.
Italy exports 14.7 million nine litre cases of still wine to the UK., which is the world’s second largest importer of wine behind Germany.
The next biggest sources of still wines in the UK are Spain, Chile and South Africa.
The well-documented Prosecco boom means that Italy also sends around around 8.2 million cases of sparkling wine annually to the UK – and Italian sparkling wines lead this category in volume terms, ahead of Champagne and Cava.
Decline in UK wine consumption predicted
Chile is the only country expected to increase its overall exports to the UK in the next few years, as the chart above shows.
The report predicts that still wine consumption in the UK will go down.
Total still wine consumption is expected to fall from 118.5 million nine litre cases in 2016 to 108 million cases by 2021.
But, this is partly because consumers are drinking less but better, according to the report authors.
‘The increased volume of sparkling wine and a trend to premium still wines will offset the overall decrease in wine value,’ said Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo, which will hold events in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong this year.
‘While still wine consumption falls its sales value will rise driven by a combination of increased prices, weaker sterling and consumers choosing to ‘drink less but better’ as they trade up to premium wine segments,’ Deglise added.
19/02/2018: This article was updated to correct the equivalent number of bottles of Australian wine drunk.