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More than we had expected after having published the preliminary tables issued by the Federal Statistics Office, German wine exports have receded last year. The figures just released by the German Wine Institute for the 12 months from December '11 to November '12 show that losses for the whole year might come closer to 15, instead of expected 12,9 % volumewise, to 7 instead of expected 4,6 % valuewise.
Instead of 1.557 m hl during the 12 months before, this time Germany exported only 1.324 m hl GERMAN wine: Out of the total of 3.26 m hl exported close to 60 % in fact was of foreign origins, not German, and was first imported, the re-exported.
The popular theory that this sort of decline is due to shrinking harvest volumes, this time is no valuable explanation. Whilst 2010 in fact was a very "small" vintage (7 m hl), 2011, the vintage which should have made up the bulk of 2012 exports, was up to 9 m hl like in 2009.
The markets which were particularly hardly hit were the prestige markets of the Germans: the US went down by about 10 % in value and volume, Great Britain about 20 % in volumes, and Russia was something close to a dead loss. Among the important markets for German wines only the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Canada were still slightly growing.
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