Spanish Wine Sees Drop In US But Surge In UK

UK Embrace Spanish Wine

Spanish Wines. Credit: Tanya Grudko/

Does the current trend in wine imports signal a change in American tastes?

Recent data indicates the United States, traditionally a major buyer of Spanish wines, has significantly reduced its intake, in a report from La Informacion.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the United States – historically the second-largest importer of Spanish wines – has shown a marked decrease in purchases.

Between January and September 2023, there was a 17.4 per cent drop in volume and a 12.2 per cent fall in value compared to the same period in the previous year.

Decline In US, Rise in the UK

The downturn in American interest is a key factor in the near 3.2 per cent decline in overall Spanish wine exports during this period.

Rafael del Rey, General Director of the Spanish Observatory of the Wine Market (OEMV), highlighted the impact of this trend, noting, ‘I think it is due to the fall of the North American market (of the United States).’

The U.S. market’s contraction, particularly in packaged wines, is alarming. Sales here plummeted by 10.7 per cent in value, reaching €180 million, and declined by 15.5 per cent in volume, accounting for 30 million litres.

European Markets’ Response

In contrast, the United Kingdom has emerged as a robust market for Spanish wines. It now leads in the purchase of Spanish bottled wines, both in value and volume, surpassing Germany.

Del Rey observed: ‘Despite all the threats we now have, with new taxes and repercussions from Brexit, the British market continues to perform reasonably well and that, together with the fall of the US market, explains why the United Kingdom returns to first place.’

The U.K. registered a 5 per cent increase in value, amounting to €181 million, and a 3.4 per cent rise in volume with 61 million litres.

Bulk wine exports, primarily led by France, also experienced a downturn. France’s import of Spanish bulk wine saw a 5.4 per cent drop in volume and a 6.6 per cent decrease in value in the first nine months of 2023.

This trend coincides with an overall decline in the export volume of Spanish bottled wines by 5.2 per cent and a value decrease of 2.6 per cent, despite a 2.7 per cent hike in the average price per litre.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.