What Drives Imports and Exports of Bulk Wine?
Exchange rates are part of the explanation. There are other things that influence the wine trade: yields, demand changes, policy (duty drawbacks)
Theory and Reality: Bulk wine 2011-2014
A strong dollar
- Increases volume of imports and
- Lowers the U.S. dollar price of imports
- Reduces volume of U.S. Exports and
- Raises prices of U.S Exports for foreign buyers in their currencies
Between 2011 and 2014 the dollar gained about 15.5% against currencies of most wine producing countries (weighted by value of imports).
The dollar gained about 7.5% against the currencies of major wine importing countries (Euro, Pound, Yen, Yuan, HK Dollar) • What happened to U.S. Imports and Exports of bulk wine?
U.S. Total Bulk Imports by Month
Chile, Argentina, and Australia are the major bulk suppliers to the U.S. (87%)
Chile, Argentina, and Australia Bulk Imports as Trendlines
Changes in Bulk Wine Quantities and Price (dollars/liter) from 2011-2014
Thoughts on Bulk Imports and Theory?
- Bulk imports did increase in 2012 for all countries but then declined in volume the following two years
- However Chilean and Australian prices fell in U.S. dollars by 18% and 19% and these two countries accounted for more than 50% of bulk shipments.
- Argentine bulk prices in U.S. dollars per liter remained roughly constant, but volumes declined by 60% from the 2012 high. Not competitive with Chile and Australia?
Despite a strong dollar, volumes of U.S. bulk shipments have remained fairly constant
What Was Happening in the U.S.?
- Domestic quantity demanded has been increasing (2-4% per year) • Quantity demanded for wine under $7 a bottle has decreased by 7% from 2011 to 2014
- Short vintages in 2010 and 2011. CA supply did not keep up with U.S. demand.
- This led to increased bulk imports in 2012, accounting for the spike • 2012 and 2013 were two record harvests in California
- Southern S.J Valley harvest produced a record 2.48 million tons in 2013, filling tanks and reducing the need for bulk wine imports
- All this effected California prices and import volumes
Quantity Demanded and California Shipments
Recent California Grape Crush
Drawback, if a factor, encouraged exports (and would tend to raise grape prices)
- Exchange rates are one of several factors that effect grape prices.
- A strong dollar makes imports more competitive with domestic wine, thus lowering grape prices in California (at least for those segments where imports are a substitute)
- But decreasing U. S. demand for inexpensive wine coupled with large CA harvests also reduces CA prices (supply/demand)
- We live in a global marketplace. The two strategies for success are: (1) Differentiation (i.e. reduce the potential for substitution)(2) Increased efficiency (out compete foreign producers)