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1 Jan, 2024 10:56

Baltic state becomes leading sparkling wine supplier to Russia – media

Exports from Latvia have reportedly surpassed those from the world’s biggest producer, Italy
Baltic state becomes leading sparkling wine supplier to Russia – media

Latvia has emerged as Russia’s largest supplier of sparkling wine during the first nine months of 2023, RIA Novosti reported on Sunday, citing international trade statistics.

From January to September last year, the Baltic country exported $105.4 million-worth of bubbly to Russia, roughly a 25% more than during the same period in 2022. Italy, the world’s largest wine producer for the past nine years, was second, with $55.4 million (up 27.6%). Another Baltic state, Lithuania, rounded out the top three with $42.7 million, nearly doubling last year’s amounts ($23 million).

Other major suppliers of bubbles to Russia included Poland ($8.65 million) and Spain ($2.98 million). The top ten also included France, whose exports to Russia dropped sharply compared to 2022, from $5.71 million to $2.78 million. It was followed by Georgia ($1.91 million), Armenia ($0.98 million), Azerbaijan ($0.84 million), and Germany ($0.45 million).

The EU banned wine exports to Russia that exceed €300 ($315) per bottle amid the Ukraine conflict, which resulted in a sharp drop in deliveries from the bloc. According to earlier reports based on UN Comtrade data, Latvia and Lithuania replaced Italy and Spain in overall sparkling and still wine exports to Russia this year. However, industry experts note that as the origin of Latvian and Lithuanian wine exports to Russia is not publicly available and neither of the two have sufficient domestic wine production, it is likely that the Baltic states are reselling wine bought from their EU peers to Russia.

Maksim Protasov, the head of Roskachestvo (Russia’s food quality regulator), said last month that consumers have started to buy more domestic wines and have cut back on imported alternatives over the past year. This trend was also indicated by a survey conducted by NAFI Analytical Center on behalf of the Russian Agricultural Bank, Rosselkhozbank, in November. It showed that up to 70% of Russians prefer domestic to imported wines in all categories from sparkling to stiff wines, and nearly a third plan to buy products from Russian winemakers more often in the future.

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