Russia opts for South American bulk wine

Imports of bulk wine into Russia

Russia opts for South American bulk wine

Uruguay, Argentina and Chile multiplied their bulk wine sales into Russia in 2018.

Alongside Azerbaijan, the aforementioned three countries were the sole ones that grew among the top 10 suppliers.

Traditional sellers such as Spain, South Africa and Moldavia dropped by over 40%.

In 2018, Russia sought new suppliers of bulk wine and laid eyes, above all, on South America. In just a year, Uruguay has gone from selling a little more than one million liters of bulk wine to Russia to exceeding 11 million liters in 2018, therefore closing the year as fourth supplier. Argentina and Chile climbed to the top ten after also exponentially increasing; Argentina reaching 3.6 million liters and Chile accounting for 817,000 liters. Among the top 10 leading sellers, these three South American suppliers are the only ones that increased alongside Azerbaijan (from one to 3.8 million liters).

The outbreak of South America has had an impact on other important suppliers within the Russian market. Thus, Spain remained as main seller, although it plunged by 43.3% down to 37 million liters, far from the 65 million liters compared to 2017. Spain is followed by Ukraine (-18%) and South Africa (-41%) accounting for 30 and 12.3 million liters respectively, both suppliers witnessing sharp declines. Similarly Moldavia registered a substantial loss (-45%); while Uzbekistan and Italy dropped by around 10%.

The huge increase of the South American suppliers did not offset the serious loss of the aforementioned countries, causing Russia to import 22.2% less bulk wine in 2018, going from 156.6 to 121.8 million liters. Nevertheless, Russia decreased its investment in rubles by only 2.5%, since most suppliers (all except for Azerbaijan and Chile among the top 10) witnessed significant increases in price, perhaps due to an unfavorable exchange rate from the Russian currency.

Russia reduced its purchases of bulk wine for third consecutive year and therefore it is already far from the 2 million hectoliters purchased in 2015. In 2018, bottled wine also registered slumps following the enormous increase witnessed in 2017, whilst sparkling wine surged for fourth year in a row and reached historical hikes.