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Weak dollar no bar to wine imports

The weakness of the American dollar will not affect exports to the US, experts say.

With the exchange rate of US$1.41 to the euro, a drop in wines coming into the US was to be expected.

But according to Jon Frederikson of the California-based wine consultancy Gomberg-Frederikson, there is no reason to panic.

‘Logically, with the weak dollar, you would think there would be an avalanche of wines going out and a restriction on European wines coming into the United States,’ Frederikson told Agence France-Presse.

‘Remarkably though, imports are continuing to come in because demand here is strong and prospects for growth over the next decade are excellent. People are swallowing the very heavy foreign exchange losses and making an investment to get into the US market and gain customer loyalty’ he said.

Exports from every major nation to the United States were up in the first half of this year, Frederikson said. Italy, the largest exporter to the US, was up by 11% in volume and France up by 10%. The volume of wines from Germany, Portugal and Spain was also up.

Meanwhile, the two dollars to the pound exchange rate has boosted American wine sales in Britain, up 31% in volume.

Cyril Penn, Editor of the California-based Wine Business Monthly, confirmed the volume of imports to the US was rising despite the strong euro, adding that America is ‘on the way to becoming the largest wine-drinking market in the world.’

Written by Lucy Shaw, and agencies

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