Sherry is gaining slightly in value but losing in sales volume. The figures from the Consejo for the end of October show the continuation of the prolonged downward tendency in wine leaving the bodegas, some 2.4% for the first ten months of the year, or over 3% for the last twelvemonths. Sales volume for January to October was 28.2 million litres, 700,000 litres less than the same period last year and 1 million less than the same period in 2013. Total sales for the last twelve months were 36 million litres as against 37 million for the equivalent period in 2014 and much less than the 39.2 million in 2013.
The strong drop in exports of 7.5% to October with a volume of 18.1 million litres is in stark contrast with the Spanish market which has grown by 8.2% to 10.1 million litres in the same period, the best figure for the last three years. For the last twelve months sales on the domestic market show 12.2 million litres or 5.5% growth while exports are down 7% to just under 23.7 million litres. The Consejo points out that there is a factor which rather distorts these figures which is a bottling contract between two of the big bodegas which makes it look as though more is sold on the home market and less on the export market. This will be allowed for in the year-end figures.
|Tabancos are selling more Sherry to younger people (foto:diariodejerez)|
The figures show the decline of the traditional markets which are associated with sweeter styles of wine, consumers of a certain age, low prices and BOB (buyer’s own brand). Meanwhile there is growth in other markets, particularly Spain, where the traditional dry styles predominate and which are increasingly being drunk by younger people. For the foreseeable future it is difficult to guess when the lines on the graph representing the different consumers might cross showing a change of tendency, but increasing prices which the bodegas openly admit to, compensate in part for the drops in sales volumes.
Of the traditional markets Sherry has suffered a real squeeze from Germany, the third biggest export market, which showed a drop of 22% to October with sales of 2.1 million litres – less than half that of Holland which took 5 million litres, down 1.3%. Britain remains the largest export market with 7.1 million litres, down 2.14%.
The picture for the last twelve months is quite similar with Britain taking 10 million litres, down 0.52%; the Low Countries taking 6.2 million litres, down 2%; Germany 2.7 million litres, down 22%. Exports to America for January to October are also losing steam with sales of 1.6 million litres showing a drop of 7%. The United States, the main market in America, took 1.15 million litres, a drop of over 5%. Over the twelve month period exports to America dropped to 1.9 million litres or down 5.5%, of which 1.4 million litres correspond to the USA, a drop of 4.12%.
The Asian market with a volume of barely 215,115 litres grew around 6% thanks to Japan which took 126,000 litres, up 8.25%. Over the twelve months though, Asia as a whole took 263,706 litres, down 2.7%, while Japan took 146,866 litres after a drop of 4%.