Argentine Vintners Toast Record Exports, Bemoan Lack of State Support

Exports totaled $817 million in 2021, with 14 of the country’s 23 provinces producing wine, but government support for the industry is lacking

Photo: Tamara Merino/Bloomberg
March 07, 2022 | 02:46 PM

Buenos Aires — Argentine wine exports set a new record in 2021, totaling $817 million in sales, breaking the previous record of $786 million set in 2012.

Furthermore, exporters once again surpassed the $1 billion barrier if exports of bottled, bulk and concentrated musts are added, something that had not occurred since 2013, according to a report by the Inter-cooperative Agricultural Confederation (CONINAGRO), based on data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

            • Top 10: in the first quarter of 2021, Argentina was among the world’s top ten wine exporters, according to Spain’s Global Wine Market Observatory.
            • Argentina placed sixth among the world’s top wine exporters during the January-October 2021 period, with $680 million in sales, which was a 15.1% increase over the same period of 2020.
            • France is the world’s top wine exporter, with sales totaling $6.73 billion during the period, which was a 32.7% increase over the same period of 2020.
            • Italy is in second place, with 2021 exports totaling $5.65 billion, which was a 39.6% increase over January-October 2020.
            • Spain is in third place, with 2021 sales totaling $1.82 billion, a 16.8% increase over the same period of 2020. The United States is in fourth place, and Portugal in fifth.

The main markets for Argentina’s wine exports in 2021 were Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S., although there were significant year-on-year increases of exports to China, France, Mexico, Paraguay and Switzerland. Among the main varieties exported are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

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“30% of the wines produced in Argentina are made by cooperatives, and the development and growth of wine production and export in Argentina last year has been achieved with little support from the state,” CONINAGRO president and a Mendoza-based vintner Carlos Iannizzotto said.

State Support Lacking

Despite the encouraging figures for 2021, Iannizzotto said “85.9% of vintners warn that they have no or very little financial support to sustain or improve their production”.

He added that “we are at a deficit in terms of trade agreements, neighboring countries such as Chile has more than 200 free trade agreements,” and said that “CONINAGRO is calling on the government to review tariffs so that small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector can reach more markets”.


Translated from the Spanish by Adam Critchley

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